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
www.myhealthstories.com 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
The brochures contained in this
www.myhealthstories.com 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.