Infographics, Comics, Videos, and More: Using Images to Talk About Research

Every picture tells a story, and more researchers are using graphics and images like infographics, comics, videos, and maps to share their research with stakeholders. These images can be eye-catching and impactful, engaging, and offering a quick view into the latest research information. Image-based information products are often highly shareable on social media, which may mean a broader spread of information  in the community. Pictures tell a lot of the story with fewer words, so information products like these may also be more accessible for readers with lower literacy, younger readers, or readers with disabilities that might impact their ability to read or understand text. Researchers can use these tools to share their findings, demonstrate an intervention or technology, or encourage potential participants to sign up. Here are some examples of image-based information products from the NIDILRR grantee community:

InfoComics

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Pathways to Positive Futures publishes the Pathways Comics series. The series features a young person named James, along with his dog Jarvis, building self-determination skills and identifying the people and organizations that can help him navigate life on his own. The series comes with study guides to help service providers who work with these young people understand the challenges and concerns of life in transition. The series is currently up to Volume 4, and still ongoing.

The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) and the University of Washington Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model System Center publish the TBI InfoComics series. The series tackles common concerns for people with TBI, their families, and caregivers, starting with Understanding TBI – common therapies, adjusting to life at home, and recovery and healing over time – and continuing with specific topics like emotional changes, sleep disturbance, and headaches.

Infographics

The Center for Research, Training, and Dissemination of Family Support for People with Disabilities Across the Life Course published results from their survey of caregivers and noncaregivers to understand the impact of COVID-19. The results are presented in an infographic, drawing attention to specific findings about how the pandemic is affecting mental and physical health, financial security, and food insecurity.

The RRTC on Community Living completed a study of home and community accessibility in rural and urban communities, using data from the American Housing Survey. Two infographics give a picture of the housing barriers that people with mobility disabilities experience, such as the percentage of homes with entrance stairs or without first-floor bathrooms.

The RRTC on Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood conducted a study of what kind of community of practice could support young adults with serious mental health conditions. The infographic quickly and clearly defines a community of practice, who it can help, goals to motivate the community, and what support the community needs to flourish and benefit the young people it serves.

Maps

The RRTC on Place-Based Solutions for Rural Community Participation, Health, and Employment conducted research on the geography of disability, using data from the American Community Survey to understand where people with disabilities are living and explore the impact of rural versus urban life. The Disability in America Map Series shows rates across the US down to the county level, disability rates in communities impacted by storms, where hospital beds may be in short supply, and other key features.

Videos

The RRTC on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities features several short videos in their research spotlight video series, highlighting different facets of their research and training activities.

The Transitions ACR created a series called Comeback TV, a show made by and for young adults with mental health conditions featuring resources for successful education and employment.

These are just a few examples! Sign up for our News and Notes newsletter to learn about new resources from the grantee community.

If you are a researcher and ready to tell your own research story, these resources may help:

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1 Response to Infographics, Comics, Videos, and More: Using Images to Talk About Research

  1. Pingback: Plainly Speaking – Sharing Research with a Wider Audience Using Plain Language | Collection Spotlight from the National Rehabilitation Information Center

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