Suzi Peel – Executive Director, Simple Public Health & Environment Resources for Education (SPHERE)

Suzi speaks on how low literacy rates manifest in poverty and poor health outcomes and the new communication tools being developed to share life-saving information with those populations.

A lot of the ideas at TEDx were about grass-roots efforts like that of Suzi Peel, who works on how illiteracy affects health.

Peel said people must break a cycle of poverty, lack of education and poor health.

"When you’re poor and you get sick, you can end up destitute," said Peel, executive director of Simple Public Health & Environmental Resources for Education, an advocacy group that creates learning tools for the illiterate. "We cannot depend on the printed word. We have to provide visuals for key messages."

The organization uses pictures to show people how to give a sample to test for tuberculosis or how to use condoms to prevent the spread of disease. The examples are employed globally in Africa and even in Washington, D.C.