Language Access and Content Validation

Language Access and Content Validation

Many refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) community members experience significant cultural, linguistic, and logistical barriers to accessing health information and healthcare, including accurate information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and vaccination opportunities. 

The availability of accurate COVID-19 information that is culturally and linguistically relevant is essential to keeping communities safe. Health messages sometimes change rapidly and organizations may face challenges developing health messaging that reaches all communities, particularly refugees, immigrants, and migrants.

Content Validation for Accurate and Relevant Messaging

Content validation is a structured process through which bilingual, bicultural community members review materials and provide critical feedback to ensure the material is appropriately designed and translated for the community it is trying to reach. Content validators can provide review and feedback on a wide variety of materials, including print, audio, video, and more.

In addition to translation, the content validation process might include adapting layouts, graphics, cultural references, and many other details. Content validators work to create messages that will resonate with the intended community while avoiding any confusion or conflict with local culture and customs.

Content Validation in Dayton, Ohio

Ebenezer Healthcare Access, a non-profit organization in Dayton Ohio, helps community members overcome linguistic and cultural barriers to healthcare by providing health education, medical appointment scheduling, transportation to appointments, medical translation and interpretation, and cultural competency training for healthcare professionals. Ebenezer Healthcare Access also addresses different social determinants of health within the RIM population as a Care Coordination Agency under the Dayton Community Pathways HUB system.

Ebenezer Healthcare Access produces brochures, slides, and videos to disseminate information about COVID-19 in multiple languages following a thorough multi-step review process that includes content validation: 

  • First, scripts in English are reviewed by Ebenezer’s own health education team and by the Montgomery County Public Health Department
  • Next, Ebenezer’s medical translators translate the material into several languages spoken by clients, including: Kiswahili, Kinyarwanda, Kinyamulenge, Kirundi, and French. 
  • Then a 10-person multilingual medical team that includes medical doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and public health professionals reviews the translated resources. During a 2-hour Zoom meeting depending on the material to review, the team gives feedback and suggestions about materials, working systematically through a brochure, slide presentation, or video from beginning to end. Decisions are reached by consensus.
  • Following this review, the materials are edited and published by Ebenezer Healthcare Access in the different languages.

Jean de Dieu Mukunzi, Executive Director of Ebenezer Healthcare Access, says: “We do have hospitals here, many health systems, and they have information. But that information is not accessible to immigrant populations. To me, success is giving that information we have, those resources that we have in English, and making them available to refugee and immigrant populations.”