use of multiple means of communication and education (e.g., radio, face-to-face, comic books); and
design materials that allow them to be used with some flexibility in a variety of instructional and learning situations.
When existing materials are being translated into Spanish, many of these same principles will apply. Workshop participants agreed that materials should be adapted for use by a Spanish-speaking audience, rather than simply translated literally. There was substantial discussion in the workshop about the preference for materials developed originally in Spanish (or in Spanish and English) rather than translated. However, because this is not always feasible, the importance of high-quality translation was highlighted. In particular, translations should be performed by native Spanish speakers who are qualified as translators and not just by anyone who speaks Spanish; translations should then be reviewed by native Spanish speakers and pilot tested with the intended audience. When translating materials, the education level of the audience should be taken into account. Unfortunately, there are far too many examples of embarrassingly bad translations, according to the workshop participants.
Approaches to materials development are most effective if grounded in broader intervention efforts that are based on sound principles of program planning. These principles include targeting interventions based on the best available surveillance data; thoroughly assessing needs; involving stakeholders in the process; establishing clear, measurable objectives; designing a participatory education program; pilot testing with the target population; evaluating program effectiveness; and revising efforts based on findings. Workshop participants thought it is essential that leadership and staff in organizations that fund materials development and testing understand the resource needs. The CDC Guide to Community Based Public Health Practice includes methodological guidelines for designing and funding sound evidence-based intervention research.3
Once an educational intervention is well tested, a wide-ranging dissemination program will be needed. It is essential to customize dissemination program to each audience and situation. Given the seriousness of the situation, society cannot afford to continually “reinvent the wheel.” Therefore, it is important that results be shared so that resources are maximized.
Workshop participants discussed the desire for a concerted effort to promote evaluation of Spanish-language materials. Evaluation should be built into the initial planning stages of materials development and educational interventions of all kinds. Materials development is greatly enhanced when target populations, objectives, and methods for measuring accomplishments are defined. However, during the push to develop and use materials, the evaluation phase does not always occur, because all too often these development projects lack evaluation resources.
Workshop participants thought that it is important to have a solid evaluation process of multiple phases, including (1) pilot testing and focus groups with intended audiences during the development phase; (2) feedback from end users (such as trainees) to determine comprehension of the materials; and (3) evaluation to determine which practices work best. In addition, there was discussion of how to review and rate existing materials in Spanish. One suggestion was that an organization should create a comprehensive clearinghouse of safety and health material on the Internet as a single source for this information in Spanish. Others responded that Internet sites might be burdensome and difficult to navigate, and the content quality might be questionable, depending on the skill and background of the person or group authoring a Web site. In addition to the task of developing acceptable criteria, the task of going through all the material may become overwhelming. As discussed in a later section, Hispanics still have limited access to the Internet.
There are, however, some positive examples of information compilation sites. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences clearinghouse on hazardous waste materials