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Language Inclusion - Non-English Speaking Participants

According to the US Census, over 15% of Chicago residents speak a language other than English as their primary language. This means that studies that require English-language proficiency to participate are not inclusive of the broader community. The most common non-English languages spoken in Chicagoland include: Spanish, Mandarin, Polish, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu.

An individual’s scientific and health literacy affects their ability to access services and information, make appropriate health decisions and understand healthcare instructions. The responsibility of ensuring health literacy is evolving. Previously recognized as the responsibility of the individual, IRBs are now recognizing the societal responsibility of health literacy. In consent forms, researchers should use plain language and supportive aides like pictures/images to thoroughly explain project details to help fulfill ethical research principles.