In 2006, I was working as a writer-editor in the regulatory shop of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for providing legal immigration benefits and services. Any one of our regulations could affect thousands to millions of people, many of whom didn’t speak English as a first language. So we had to get the language right.
2020 was an unusual and challenging year in the history of the ClearMarks. Everyone’s focus was on creating new plain language materials to meet pressing needs—and, in turn, to celebrate those materials and their important impact on their audiences – we opened a separate COVID-19 category.
The Plain Writing Act is turning 10 years old on October 13, 2020. The Act gave U.S. federal employees the legal oomph to turn the stereotype that government writing is overly complicated, stilted, and obtuse on its head. No longer was plain language just a good idea that could easily be tossed aside for lack of time or tacked on the end of a project as if it were synonymous with proofreading.
ClearMark judge Geraldine Hynes, PhD, is a communication consultant and executive coach for business, government, and nonprofit organizations. Her award-winning research has been published in scholarly journals and books in several countries and languages.
Don’t miss the Access for All conference October event! This conference marks the first time Clarity International, the Center for Plain Language, and Plain Language Association International (PLAIN) have joined together to celebrate clear communication. It is the first virtual plain language conference. Come join us as we discuss how we have and can use plain language to break down all sorts of barriers! Join Us Access for All: Plain Language is a Civil Right, is a virtual conference dedicated to using plain language to break down barriers in society. Join us as we explore five areas where plain
Together with our partners, Clarity and Plain International, we are hosting the Access for All: Plain Language is a Civil Right International Conference virtual event October 13-15, 2020. We will announce the winners of our ClearMark Awards during this event. Access for All: Plain Language is a Civil Right, is a conference dedicated to using plain language to break down barriers in society. The conference explores five arenas where plain language can and has improved Access for All. Stories of the Conference We will experience the conference through five stories. Delve into the stories of the conference to see how
We are pleased to announce our newest Board member, Kathryn Catania. Kathryn is a champion of providing information that is easy to find, understand, and use. She has more than 15 years’ experience promoting plain language in government writing.
Recently, the Center’s Vice Chair, David Lipscomb, talked with two Center volunteers who also happen to be successful entrepreneurs– Casey Mank and Grace Foster. They are the two founders of Bold Type, a writing consulting firm that is prospering in its second year. Armed with masters degrees, experience leading workshops and coaching for Kelloggs, Viacom and the US Army, both Grace and Casey also carve out time to teach at Georgetown University.
Now that the frenetics of launching the annual ClearMark Awards are over, the Center for Plain Language had a chance to chat with two leaders from a great social media advisor/aide: Circuit Media, based in Denver, CO.
The Center for Plain Language announces finalists for its highly popular annual ClearMark awards which recognize the best in plain language communications created by North American organizations. Held every year since 2010, “The theme for this year’s ClearMarks is ‘Plain Language is Everywhere,” says Jeff Greer, Chair of the Center. This year the event happens online, Tuesday, May 7th, at 12 p.m. EDT.
An interview with Deborah Bosley
Deborah Bosley is owner and principal of The Plain Language Group and professor emeritus of technical communication at UNC Charlotte. For two decades she has helped organizations create written information that exceeds compliance standards and is easy for people to understand and use. A former board member of the Center for Plain Language, Deborah agreed to sit down for an interview about her career and a recent court case.
International Plain Language Standards—Next Step is Australia Standards Application – Susan Kleimann, Ph.D.
The Montréal Clarity Conference was remarkable for its setting, for the varied presentations, and for the particularly strong legal presence. Quite special was the Plenary Session for the Plain Language Federation which was co-founded by the Center for Plain Language, Plain Language Association International, and Clarity-International.