Photonovelas are materials used internationally to educate communities about a myriad of topics.  They have been used for many years to enhance literacy of issues such as health (prenatal care, diets, sanitation), safety (eye protection of farm workers, noise control) and government (how to vote).  The intent of these materials is to reach those populations with low literacy skills.  Photonovelas appear in the form of booklets, pamphlets, handouts and books using a format similar to comic books.  Most of the photonovelas that have historically been produced present hand-drawn characters accompanied by short dialogues in 'bubbles".  Recently social and governmental agencies, and publishers have started to use photographs.  With the advent of technology, some photonovelas are available through the internet for interested parties to print.

The photonovelas in offer professionals the opportunity to use technology to access different photonovelas focusing on health and education issues.  The photonovelas contained in this website are PowerPoint Shows that contain stories using photographs accompanied by bubbles with dialogues.  Reading levels are appropriate for populations without strong reading skills that would not benefit from the usual brochures used in clinics.   Furthermore, in the future we will strive to be innovative by attaching to photonovelas audio which mirrors the dialogue in the bubbles.

Goals of the photonovelas

  • Prevention - Use the photonovelas to educate clients in order to prevent health problems.  For example, photonovelas may be used to educate youngsters on the appropriate use of audio equipment, therefore preventing hearing loss.

  • Assessment - Use the photonovelas to prepare clients before they are evaluated by explaining procedures used.  A client's stress will be reduced and s/he will be prepared to raise their hand during an audiological exam.

  • Treatment - Use the photonovelas to support health and education services by teaching parents how to practice language activities in the home, therefore offering carry-over opportunities.

Using the photonovelas

  • While the client is waiting in the waiting room, sit the client with a headset in front of the computer and give them the opportunity to listen to the photonovela.

  • During a session with the client, explain the topic and then review using the photonovela together, listening to the content and discussing the story.

  • Photonovelas may also be used in waiting rooms in monitors for all to obtain information about specific topics.  Photonovelas (downloaded upon request) may be looped using Power Point tools and exhibited in wall-mounted monitors with or without the audio.

  • Address group education activities by attaching an LCD projector and speakers to your computer and viewing the photonovela together.


The brochures contained in this contain the same slides as in the photonovelas.  They have been formatted in Word and in PDF for professionals to print.

Using the brochures

  • Print the brochures after a session reviewing the web-based photonovela with the client.

  • Print the brochure and use it with your client without reviewing the photonovela on the web.

  • Make copies and distribute in health fairs.

  • Have copies available in waiting rooms.