Presenters

Published: 04. Jun 2019, Last modified: 08. Aug 2019

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Aasgaard, Marianne (Senior adviser in the Norwegian Language Council, Norway)

Marianne Aasgaard is a senior adviser in the Norwegian Language Council and works primarily with terminology and language for special purposes (LSP). Before she started working for the Language Council, she worked as a technical translator for several years.

Terminology’s role in digital language (workshop)

Communication in the digital era isn’t just between people, but also between people and machines and between machines. This makes unambiguous terminology even more important than before. How can you make sure that people both inside and outside your organization understand a term in the same way?

This workshop will give you some tools and techniques for "tidying up" your organization’s terminology and how you can define concepts and write good explanations. The methods are based on ISO 704:2009 Terminology work - Principles and methods.

Anker, Christian (Council of Transparency, Chile)

Christian Anker is a Psychologist and has a master’s degree in Public Policy and an MBA, and is Professor in postgraduate programs in Legal Psychology at the Universidad Católica de Chile.

He is Head of the Training and Promotion Unit in the Council for Transparency of Chile. He leads a range of projects and public policies related to the promotion, research and education of transparency and access to information for citizens, civil society and public servants. He is working with plain language as a vehicle to help the understanding of public policy.

Improving the understanding of public information and citizen trust with plain language

This presentation shows different strategies developed in Chile to promote a culture of transparency with the help of Plain Language to bring benefits and satisfaction for the citizens and civil servants. It will focus on one of the initiatives of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Action Plan 2016-2018 related with Plain Language which seeks to promote the values ​​of transparency and accountability in governments. 

Through this initiative, we developed four actions and a working model to promote the use of Plain Language in public administration through methodological and learning resources, in order to enhance the quality of the relationship and trust between the citizen and the state.

Arias, Gérman (Legislative Adviser in the House of Representatives, Colombia)

Gérman has a degree in International Relations and Political Science from the Universidad Militar Nueva Granada de Bogotá. He then went on to specialize in Public Policy and Development and earned a master’s degree in Constitutional Law from the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales in Madrid, Spain. Gérman is a Legislative Adviser in the House of Representatives, Colombia. He is the Clarity country representative for Colombia and a member of the Plain Language Network, Colombia and the Universidad de los Andes Research Project “the right to understand". 

Plain Language Networks in Latin America: Argentina and Colombia

Argentina and Colombia have Plain Language Networks that aim to promote access to justice and social inclusion. They have made progress with limited resources. By holding plain language events, training days, setting up online courses, and writing plain language manuals, they have spread the word about plain language in their countries. This panel will talk about how they set up the networks, what they have achieved so far and what they aim to achieve in the future. Panelists will give examples of how they work in interdisciplinary teams to promote plain language.   

Arias is presenting with Joanna Richardson and Mariana Bozetti.

B

Balmford, Christopher (Words and Beyond, Australia)

Christopher Balmford is a sea-kayaker, a former lawyer, a past-president of Clarity, a plain-language advocate and practitioner, and chair of the International Plain Language Federation’s Standard’s Committee. He is based in Melbourne, Australia. In 1999, he founded the plain-language consultancy Words and Beyond, where he is the Managing Director. In 2000, he founded the online legal document provider Cleardocs.com, which ThomsonReuters acquired in 2011.

An ISO standard for plain language: Where are we up to?

At Clarity’s conference in 2018, the 300+ attendees approved a proposal to develop an optional multi-language standard for plain language under the auspices of the International Standards’ Organization (ISO). The session was presented by the International Plain Language Federation ― a joint project of Clarity, PLAIN, and The Center for Plain Language. The intent is to develop a standard that will work in most, if not all, languages.

The Committee is applying to the ISO at the time of writing. This session will be an update on the process and a review of the then current draft.

Balmford is presenting with Dr. Rosa Galan, Dr. Annetta Cheek, Dr. Kleimann and Sissel Motzfeldt. 

Basterfield, Cathy (Access Easy English, Australia)

Cathy Basterfield is an experienced Speech Pathologist, with a background of 30 years working with people with Complex Communication Needs and Easy English.

Cathy was awarded a Victorian Government Ethel Temby scholarship for an investigative study into international trends and accreditation for Easy English writing and publications in 2011.

Based in Melbourne, Cathy owns and operates Access Easy English. She works across all states in Australia working with government, non-government agencies and businesses in their implementation of Easy English.

Images everywhere: what do I use?

More than words. Images, Images, Images or a picture is worth more than 1000 words. But only if it connects with your audience. How do you know which image to use?   

Beek, Rosie ter (European Commission)

Rosie ter Beek works as a language editor in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation. A clear writing enthusiast, she gives training and helps run the clear writing campaign aimed at improving the quality of drafting in Commission texts. Rosie holds a BA in French and Scandinavian Studies (Hull) and an MA in translating and interpreting (Bath) and joined the Commission in 2004 as an English translator.

Running a clear writing campaign - experience from the European Commission

It’s true, the European Commission doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to readable, clear communication… but things are changing! For the past 10 years the clear writing campaign has been helping to improve the Commission's drafting culture, moving away from eurojargon to produce clear texts the public can understand. This interactive workshop will look at what has worked for us (and what hasn't) and, by sharing experiences, will help you develop your own clear writing initiatives. 

Ter Beek is presenting with Nika Truhačev. 

Berg, Iske Van den (CRC)

Iske van den Berg is a qualitative research specialist. She is the managing director of Corporate Research Consultancy, a firm specialising in doing demand side interviews to understand the challenges consumers face in using the services of providers. She has 25 years of experience in her field. Her work focuses on financial, socio-political, multilingualism, communication and media research. She has conducted qualitative research in a wide range of countries across Africa and Asia. Iske holds a master’s degree in Afrikaans and Dutch from the University of Johannesburg, and a master’s degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa.

Bridging the gap between researchers and respondents: Plain Language for data integrity

The presentation will discuss a specialised pilot that was conducted in 2018 for the i2i Facility of the FinMark Trust. SMS surveys were a new terrain for financial inclusion research, and the pilot had to confirm that respondents understand the questions as intended. The research method was based on cognitive interviewing methods, but it incorporated the insights and methods of action research, plain language, and reading strategies for foreign language learners. The methodology was called cognitive action research. 

Without the intervention of the specialised pilot, the data integrity of the survey would have been compromised. The findings demonstrated the application potential of cognitive action research to bridge the gap between researchers and respondents in the quest for data integrity.

Van den Berg is presenting with Dr. Sarah Slabbert.

Bjerg, Kresten (Bjerg Kommunikation, Denmark)

Kresten Bjerg is the founder of the Danish communication agency Bjerg Kommunikation (www.bjergk.dk). For the past 17 years he has been responsible for a series of population studies on digital communication and readability - and how to implement the findings of these studies in communication strategies and media. Among his longtime clients are the Danish parliament and many governmental institutions as well as educational institutions. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed book “Den digitale læsers hjerne - en skriveguide til fagfolk”, second edition 2019.

The Digital Reader's Mind

Most people prefer to read professional texts on paper - not online. Surprisingly to many, young people prefer analogue text more than the rest of the population. The reason for this is that it's easier for the reader to activate the cognitive tools needed for reading when reading analogue texts as opposed to digital. There is a great potential in understanding the digital reader and how to make them concentrate better when they read online. If we want to succeed with digital media, we need to know how the digital reader's mind works. 

Björklund, Caroline (Plain language consultant at Språkkonsulterna, Sweden)

Caroline Björklund is a plain language consultant at the agency Språkkonsulterna in Stockholm, Sweden.

Target group involvement in two plain language projects within Stockholm Public Transport

One customer, two text types, two different target groups. In this presentation, language consultants Mats Hydbom and Caroline Björklund from the agency Språkkonsulterna share their experiences working with plain language projects for Stockholm Public Transport. They will take you through different ways of involving the target groups in plain language projects, as well as share some of the results. 

Björklund is presenting with Mads Hydbom.

Blomkvist, Susanne (Språkkonsulterna, Sweden)

Susanne is a language consultant from Stockholm university. She has worked at Språkkonsulterna since 2010 and presently consults at Socialstyrelsen (National Board of Health and Welfare).

Writing cabins – a workshop for implementing plain language at a Swedish authority

I would like to present a special concept, called writing cabin, used by the communication department at the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden (Socialstyrelsen). The concept is a very efficient way of working with constant improvements of text. I will present the results of a small interview research with people who have worked with the concept and what their experiences are of its advantages and disadvantages.

The purpose of the writing cabin is to:

  • get to know each other and collaborate
  • understand each other's expertise
  • complement each other's skills
  • get away from long e-mail threads
  • solve issues directly
  • speed up text work

Bosley, Deborah (The Plain Language Group, LLC, USA)

Deborah S. Bosley, Ph.D., is the Owner and Principal at The Plain Language Group (TPLG). She also is Professor Emerita of Technical Writing at UNC Charlotte. Deborah is recognized as an international, plain language expert. For the past 15 years, TPLG has helped Fortune 500/1000 companies, primarily in the financial sector, create content that customers and clients can easily understand and use while meeting regulatory requirements.  

Deborah has been an expert witness in three lawsuits that focused (in part) on the clarity (or lack thereof) of critical information.

How to Be an Expert Witness: Testifying About Clarity in Voter Registration Material

Have you ever wanted to become an expert witness? Do you know how to write an expert report, sit through a deposition, and appear in court on behalf of plain language content? The US has come under threat of voter suppression and often material given to potential voters is confusing and intimidating. In 2018, the League of Women Voters sued the state of New Hampshire for creating new voter registration material that they alleged would discourage potential voters from registering. This presentation will explain my experience as an expert witness on that case. 
 

Bozetti, Mariana (Coordinator for Academic Writing at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)

Mariana Bozetti has a degree in Humanities from the Universidad Católica Argentina, and a postgraduate degree in Forensic Linguistics (legal and judicial language) from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. She is the coordinator for Academic Writing at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella where she also teaches writing and oral expression skills. From 1998-2014 she taught plain Spanish to lawyers at Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal, Argentina’s leading law firm. She is Clarity representative in Argentina.

Plain Language Networks in Latin America: Argentina and Colombia

Argentina and Colombia have Plain Language Networks that aim to promote access to justice and social inclusion. They have made progress with limited resources. By holding plain language events, training days, setting up online courses, and writing plain language manuals, they have spread the word about plain language in their countries.This panel will talk about how they set up the networks, what they have achieved so far and what they aim to achieve in the future. Panelists will give examples of how they work in interdisciplinary teams to promote plain language.   

Bozetti is presenting with Joanna Richardson and Gérman Arias.

Brenna, Loveleen Rihel (Founder of Seema, Norway)

Loveleen Rihel Brenna is founder of Seema AS – center for diversity management. She has been working with diversity and inclusion issues since 1995. She was also the initiator of the first standard in the world that systemized and standardized diversity management as a tool for value creation (SN 11201:2018). And she was appointed head of the committee by Standards Norway. Brenna is also leading a commission working with gender equality Green paper.

Inclusion and diversity management

Most people and leaders assume that workplace diversity is about increasing racial, national, gender, or class representation - in other words, it is about increasing the number of different identity groups. To tap the benefits of diversity and develop PLAIN language for inclusion and democracy, the organizations must incorporate employees’ perspectives into the main work of the organization. Inclusion refers to a cultural and environmental feeling of belonging. Color-blind, gender-blind and "fit-in culture" means that diversity is not important.

Brown, Clive (Senior Medical Writer at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma)

Dr. Clive Brown is a senior Medical Writer at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma. He has a PhD in cardiovascular physiology and is a lay summary expert.

The challenge of writing medical texts in plain language - the problem of oversimplification

Everybody should have a chance to know how new medicines come about. Medical progress depends on clinical studies. However, the available information is complex. The results of clinical studies can often only be understood by experts. The EU requires that all clinical studies are summarized for lay people in a new document called lay summary. If you are interested in the challenges and solutions of lay summaries - come to our presentation. 

Dr. Brown is presenting with Dr. Thomas Schindler.

C

Caluwe, Dirk (Language consultant at the Department of Public Governance and the Chancellery, Netherlands)

Caluwe is a language consultant working for the Flemish Government. He is the coordinator for the Flemish campaign 'Heerlijk Helder'.

The Flemish and Dutch campaigns for plain language for governmental organisations

The Flemish campaign Heerlijk Helder (‘delightfully clear’) and the Dutch campaign Direct Duidelijk (‘immediately clear’) are two campaigns promoting plain language in government communication. The Flemish campaign aims to influence the communicative behaviour of civil servants in an effective and sustainable way. To achieve this goal, insights from behavioural sciences are used. The main goal of the Dutch campaign is to motivate governmental organizations to define an organizational policy on plain language, assess its effects and support employees to communicate clearly. 

Caluwe is presenting with Lodewijk van Noort, Karen Deschamps and Dr. Thea van der Geest.

Campbell, Nicole Watkins (Editor)

Nicole Watkins Campbell is an editor from Nova Scotia, Canada. She has 30 years’ experience editing and advising on clear communication and she now teaches plain language as well. She has created plain language materials for legislation and has edited professional standards materials for Editors Canada.

Let’s Teach Convergent Concepts for Clear Communication

Successful public communication depends upon achieving a balance between effective and efficient information processing in the recipient. We borrow from other fields to teach writers how to do that. You can incorporate parallel concepts from other communication and academic fields to provide a stronger basis than mere stylistic guidelines. This session will explore how to connect plain language concepts with those used in other fields of study. This exploration covers concepts from composition, editing, linguistics, other language studies, psychology and neuroscience. 

Campbell is presenting with Cheryl Stephens.

Cheek, Annetta (President, International Plain Language Federation, USA)

Dr. Cheek earned a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. She spent 25 years in the US Federal government, mostly writing and implementing regulations and was Vice President Gore’s plain language expert for 4 years. She was the chair of the federal plain language group since its founding in 1995 until she retired in 2007, and chair of the board of the Center for Plain Language from its founding in 2003 until June 2014. She was instrumental in getting the US Congress to pass the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Currently she is the chair of the International Plain Language Federation, an organization made up of representatives from PLAIN, Clarity, and the Center for Plain Language.

An ISO standard for plain language: Where are we up to?

At Clarity’s conference in 2018, the 300+ attendees approved a proposal to develop an optional multi-language standard for plain language under the auspices of the International Standards Organization (ISO). The session was presented by the International Plain Language Federation ― a joint project of Clarity, PLAIN, and The Center for Plain Language. The intent is to develop a standard that will work in most, if not all, languages.

The Committee is applying to the ISO at the time of writing. This session will be an update on the process and a review of the then current draft.

Dr. Cheek is presenting with Christopher Balmford, Dr. Rosa M Galan and Dr. Kleimann and Sissel Motzfeldt. 

Chisnall, Anne-Marie (Write, New Zealand)

Anne-Marie is DCE at Write, a New Zealand-based plain language consultancy. She helps to lead an exceptional company that believes in using the power of words for good. Write works with client organisations to help them and their customers get the benefits of clear communication.

Customer care in action: Changing attitudes in business for the good of the customer

In this presentation, we'll consider the current focus on 'care' as a lived value for companies and the demand for transparency in communication, against a backdrop of changes in how consumers and organisations think about financial and legal information. You'll hear about professional services firms that have built their businesses with care as a cornerstone. We'll share a case study of an insurance policy that meets the WriteMark Plus Standard. And we'll report briefly on a study of 10 contracts from short-term loan companies.   

Clement, Julie (Clarity, USA)

Julie Clement is President of Clarity, is former editor of the Clarity Journal, has served on the Board of the Center for Plain Language, and is a practicing consultant and a trained lawyer.

Access to justice - one form at a time

Under the Norwegian model, plain language promotes democracy and justice. Yet too often, unclear language in court forms and their instructions prevents access to legal justice. For 6 months, I worked with the Hawai'i District Courts, to help them begin translating their court forms into plain language. We evaluated 30 forms, translated 6 into plain language, tested the revisions, and taught court staff to do the same. In this presentation, I will share my experiences with this project: our approach, results, and lessons learned. 

Ethics and the Underbelly of Plain Language

In plain language consulting, we often assume plain language serves the pure of heart and motive, but what of underbelly industries like payday loans, multilevel marketing or sub-prime mortgage lenders? These companies have a primary business demographic of vulnerable populations. How do they use plain language? As consultants, are we supporting the business goals or protecting their end customer? What is our responsibility? What ethical questions should we ask ourselves? How do we guard against the exploitation of our reputation? How can we demand and set limits? Explore with us.   

Clement is presenting with Dr. Susan Kleimann and Dr. Barbara Kingsley. 

Codd, Meghan Walker (Co-founder Zuula, USA) 

Meghan Codd Walker, Zuula co-founder, helps people and companies reduce their costs of confusion. Her goal is to change our communications culture, so everyone expects - and receives - the transparency and clarity they deserve. Meghan is a Board Member for the Center for Plain Language and a former member of the International Plain Language Federation.

Unmasking Confusion: The Language and Ethics of Transparency

In the age of social media and conscious capitalism, transparency is important for society — and essential for the bottom line. We will show how specific grammar and writing techniques can obscure messages and allow communicators to hide behind language. We’ll use data and real-world examples to illustrate our points, as well as provide tips for creating transparency in all communications. Gain: - awareness of language features that create confusion; - tools for recognizing and pushing back on purposeful ambiguity; - techniques for constructing language that increases transparency.

Codd is presenting with Deanna Lorianni.

D

Daly, David (Plain English for Doctors, USA)

David Daly worked for many years as a lawyer in Detroit, USA. He won awards for writing contracts for the overseas auto business in plain English. He published several articles on how to write a contract in plain English.

After retiring, he teamed with a doctor and another writer to publish two books on how to write about medicine and public health in plain English: Plain English for Doctors and Other Medical Scientists (Oxford University Press, 2017), and Diagnosing and Treating Medicus Incomprehensibilis (Oxford University Press, 2018). 

Writing about medicine in plain English

Medical journals present new scientific discoveries to doctors and other medical scientists throughout the world; but the articles tend to be hard to read. In our talk, we give a few examples of how a medical journal article could be made much easier to read by applying simple plain English writing tips. This can be done without dumbing down the science. The key concepts are: (1) use vivid language, (2) present logical reasoning clearly, and (3) take charge of your reading ease score. These concepts apply to technical writing in any field. 

Daly, Ronan (VP of Customer Success and Innovation for Visiblethread, Ireland)

Ronan is a VP of Customer Success and Innovation for Visiblethread. He has been working with customers for over 18 years in the B2B space. Ronan began his career as a consultant and has a record of using creative methodologies to positively impact customer issues. He has international experience coordinating global projects and resources across EMEA, NA, LAC and APJ. He also is a certified coach and accomplished presenter.

Why plain language delivers for enterprise and how it will work for you

Plain language is a necessity and can have a big payoff for both consumers and organizations. In a world full of noise and data overload, clear communication is now more important than ever. Using a combination of both AI and writing skills we are entering a new era of insight across all communication channels. The presentation will cover: why plain language is a proven strategy to regain consumer trust; how to kick-start a plain language program in your organization; incorporating a tone of voice across an organisation’s communications; and how to set clear communication KPIs and measurements. 

Dean, Sandra (Professor of Management and Business Communication at Jacksonville University, USA)

Prof. Sandra Dean is a professor of Management and Business Communication at Jacksonville University, in Jacksonville, Florida.  She has also owned The Communication Advantage since 1989 where she designs and delivers workshops to improve core competencies such as Business Writing, Technical Writing, and Executive Presentations.  She serves clients such as The Mayo Clinic, Florida Department of Transportation, CSX Transportation, Miller Electric, Palm Beach County, Sarasota County, and the city of Ft. Lauderdale.

What the Attention Economy Teaches Us about How to Strategically Organize Business and Technical Writing

How long can a goldfish pay attention? Come to "The Attention Economy..." and let's talk about attention span and its effect on Business Writing! This interactive workshop will use documents from Microsoft, The Swan Hotel at Disney World, and the United States Postal Service as examples. Sandra Dean will use these documents to demonstrate how she teaches Business Writing to her corporate and governmental clients. 

Deschamps, Karen (Language consultant, Flemish government, Netherlands)

2003-2017: PhD Candidate/teaching assistant, Catholic University of Leuven.
2017-now: Language consultant, Flemish government.

The Flemish and Dutch campaigns for plain language for governmental organisations

The Flemish campaign Heerlijk Helder (‘delightfully clear’) and the Dutch campaign Direct Duidelijk (‘immediately clear’) are two campaigns promoting plain language in government communication. The Flemish campaign aims to influence the communicative behaviour of civil servants in an effective and sustainable way. To achieve this goal, insights from behavioural sciences are used. The main goal of the Dutch campaign is to motivate governmental organizations to define an organizational policy on plain language, assess its effects and support employees to communicate clearly. 

Deschamps is presenting with Lodewijk van Noort, Dirk Caluwe and Dr. Thea van der Geest.

Doubleday, Heather (Literally Inspired, Australia)

Heather is an enthusiastic plain language advocate who believes that access to information is a human right. She has developed her skills through her work and experience in academic, clinical and health management sectors and has over 20 years’ experience in redeveloping content for specific audiences to improve accessibility, certainty and precision.

Together with her business partner Julia Garry, Heather is co-founder of Literally Inspired, an Australian editing practice that specialises in rewriting documents into plain language.

Case study: Working with a committee of clinicians to produce consumer health information - Obstacles & opportunities

Learn how one plain language team works with multi-disciplinary committees to produce consumer health information. See recent case studies of topical health information and get to grips with why the word “may” is to medicalese what “shall” is to legalese – unhelpful and ambiguous! 

Dougherty, Sarah (Coordinator at Educaloi)

Sarah has a long history of community involvement and extensive experience as a lawyer, journalist and translator. She practised constitutional and commercial law for many years in the private sector. She then spent a decade as a journalist for newspapers, magazines and websites. At the same time, she was a freelance legal translator. She joined Éducaloi (Montreal, Canada) in 2009 as a plain language specialist. She now coordinates all of Éducaloi’s services in English.

Legal Communications within the Matrix – Which Reality Do You Want to Perceive?

To create clear legal information tools, non-jurists must often work with legal professionals. These exchanges can be quite destabilizing, even unsettling for both parties. Why? In the end, it may come down to perceptions. Legal professionals have a rather unique vision of the world. They come to perceive another reality – that of the law. Their expertise largely depends on this, but this creates difficulties in working with non-jurists. This workshop will explore how both parties can better understand each other and work together more efficiently to produce clear legal information. 

Dougherty is presenting with Guillaume Rondeau.

Droog, Tara (Irish Cancer Society, Ireland) 

Tara Droog is a cancer information editor with the Irish Cancer Society and an experienced plain language practitioner. She is deeply committed to supporting people with low literacy and meeting the information needs of the hundreds of thousands of people who use the Society's services.

Motivating your staff to embrace plain language: how to cater to different needs and challenges

The Irish Cancer Society is Ireland’s national cancer charity. According to the European Health Literacy Survey, 40% of Irish people have limited health literacy. Against a backdrop of limited resources, our challenge was to encourage departments with different objectives to embrace plain language. Researchers, fundraisers and staff supporting cancer patients have very different plain language needs and challenges. This presentation will focus on the process of introducing plain language practice into our workplace and the challenge of catering to staff with very different plain language needs.

E

Egedius, Ingunn (Sopra Steria, Norway)

Ingunn works as a senior content designer in Sopra Steria. She is currently working for the Norwegian Tax Administration where she is responsible for plain language in a new tax return form, launching next year. Ingunn has long working experience as a communication advisor and web editor in the public sector.

She has a bachelor’s degree in media and social sciences from the University of Bergen and has also studied design and usability.

How to make people understand tax

In her poster presentation Ingunn will show how the Norwegian Tax Administration works to make sure that 4,5 million taxpayers understand their tax return. She will talk about how she conveys the importance of plain language to project leaders, web developers and legal staff. Ingunn will give you the “dos” and “don'ts” when working with communication in a large-scale public sector project, and show why it is important to work closely with interaction designers.

Eklund, Heidi Bunæs (NTB Arkitekst, Norway)

Heidi Bunæs Eklund is a text editor and one of the founders of NTB Arkitekst. She has 15 years of experience from plain language work and has in recent years worked on projects that link languages to digitalisation, universal design and user involvement.

What characterises plain language in digital services?

Digital services consist of several elements that only to a limited extent have been described in terms of linguistics. The Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities invited text linguists and interaction designers to develop guidelines for plain language in digital services.

Measure effects in a wink

In this workshop, you will try a method made to measure the effects of textual changes in three simple steps.  A graphical overview lets you identify the problems of the text according to its users.

Eklund is presenting with Jostein Ryssevik.

F

Fioravanti, Chiara (Researcher at Italian National Research Council - Institute of Legal informatics and judicial systems) 

Chiara Fioravanti has a degree in Communication Science from the University of Siena and a Ph.D. in Telematic and Information Society from the University of Florence. After working for  Siena University, in 2004 she began cooperating with the Institute of Legal Informatics judicial systems where now she works as a researcher.

Creating a user-oriented glossary of public administration terms for migrants living in Italy: scope and methodology

The operational objective of the activity that will be presented through the poster is to create a simplified glossary of public administration terms to facilitate the understanding of administrative procedures for third-country citizens resident in Italy.

The glossary definitions are made following the rules of plain language, but we also want to build them in a way that reflects the mind map and the real needs of the intended users: migrants who have to extricate themselves from the complex Italian bureaucracy. To achieve this, we have directly involved them in our research.

Fioravanti will be speaking with Francesco Romano. 

Fossum, Synve Røine (Norwegian Tax Authorities, Norway)

Synve works with user experience for the Norwegian Tax Authorities. She has a master’s degree in Psychology with a focus on people and technology. Synve has worked as an UX consultant for over a decade and has tackled design projects on heavy information sites in both the private and public sector. She has also worked as a scientific researcher on Simulation of Demanding Maritime Operations. Being able to deliver better user experiences through simplifying complexity in both design and language is the main goal in Synve's work.  

Language as a driver for design - Case: Skatteetaten.no

Content and plain language were the driving forces when we were given the task to redesign the Norwegian Tax Authorities website Skatteetaten.no. When we defined the visual concept, one thing was clear - we wanted the content and language to define our design and not the other way around.

In this presentation, Synve will show how this approach shaped the design and tell the story of:   

  • the battle of the button
  • an impossible wizard with no good way to write good alternatives
  • the story of the complex menu
  • when words are not enough - an article template

Fox, Tamar (Content strategist for the City of Philadelphia, USA)

Tamar Fox is a content strategist for the City of Philadelphia. She works with the service design and digital transformation teams to apply a trauma-informed lens to all of the city's content, from letters about taxes that are owed, to applications for assistance programs, to signs and wayfinding in buildings. Tamar has an MFA in fiction writing from Vanderbilt University, and a BA from University of Iowa. Before working with the City of Philadelphia Tamar worked in communications for Jewish non-profit organizations.

Using trauma-informed writing to keep people from losing their homes

When the City of Philadelphia wanted to figure out a cheap and effective way of reducing the number of homes that go into foreclosure, they turned to a trauma-informed plain language strategy. Learn how rewriting and redesigning letters, forms, and web content can help save your organization time and money, and how using trauma-informed plain language allows you to better serve people in crisis.  

Frantz, Amalthea (Språkkonsulterna, Sweden)

Amalthea Frantz has a background in journalism and publishing. Since 2014, Amalthea has worked with Easy to Read Swedish, for example at the Swedish Agency for Accessible Media. Today she is a consultant in Easy to Read at the agency Språkkonsulterna.

Working methods for Easy to Read

Easy to read is more than words. Content and presentation are just as important for the target audiences. You need to analyse, select, design and review. My poster summarises this in a step-by-step method. 

G

Galan, Rosa M. (ITAM University, Mexico)

Dr. Rosa M. Galan is a full-time professor at ITAM University. Representative for Clarity in México and member of the International Plain Language Federation. She was president and co-founder of the Plain Language Network Group in Mexico. Together with Clarity and the Ministry of Public Service, she organized the 2008 International Clarity Conference in Mexico. She is a promoter of plain language courses at and from ITAM.

An ISO standard for plain language: Where are we up to?

At Clarity’s conference in 2018, the 300+ attendees approved a proposal to develop an optional multi-language standard for plain language under the auspices of the International Standards Organization (ISO). The session was presented by the International Plain Language Federation ― a joint project of Clarity, PLAIN, and The Center for Plain Language. The intent is to develop a standard that will work in most, if not all, languages.

The Committee is applying to the ISO at the time of writing. This session will be an update on the process and a review of the then current draft.

Dr. Galan is presenting with Dr. Annetta Cheek, Christopher Balmford, Dr. Kleimann and Sissel Motzfeldt. 

Geest, Thea van der (HAN University of Applied Sciences, Kenniscentrum Technologie en Samenleving Lectoraat Media Design, Netherlands)

Dr. Thea van der Geest is helping organisations to put their citizens or clients in the center of the design of digital applications and media. In her research, she works with numerous Dutch government organisations to make their communication and services understandable, usable and accessible for all.

The Flemish and Dutch campaigns for plain language for governmental organisations

The Flemish campaign Heerlijk Helder (‘delightfully clear’) and the Dutch campaign Direct Duidelijk (‘immediately clear’) are two campaigns promoting plain language in government communication. The Flemish campaign aims to influence the communicative behaviour of civil servants in an effective and sustainable way. To achieve this goal, insights from behavioural sciences are used. The main goal of the Dutch campaign is to motivate governmental organizations to define an organizational policy on plain language, assess its effects and support employees to communicate clearly. 

Dr. Geest is presenting with Lodewijk van Noort, Karen Deschamps and Dirk Caluwe.

Gergely, Vera (Plain language consultant, Hungary)

Vera is a board member of PLAIN and of International Plain Language Federation (IPLF). She has worked in different fields and environments, from NGOs through multinational companies to startups. She has experience in software testing, project management, organizing events, and technical writing, with a master’s degree in Economics.

In 2014 she embarked on the ambitious task of introducing plain language in Hungary. Since then, she has worked as a freelancer, offering plain language editing, training and consulting to companies. She partnered up with a news portal to launch a plain language award. Vera also wrote a comprehensive guide on how to write clearly in Hungarian.

Demystifying justice: Training for justice actors on the use of plain language and developing clear and accessible letters of rights

Four leading European human rights organisations have joined forces to promote the use of plain language in the criminal procedure. Our project aims to spark a plain language movement of legal professionals all around Europe. In our presentation, we will talk about: - the results of our prior research about the comprehensibility of two versions of the Hungarian letter of rights, - and the training programmes for legal professionals specialised in criminal law and procedure around Europe that we are currently developing. 

Goldman, Jana (Press Here, USA)

Jana Goldman is the founder of Press Here, which helps scientists communicate with non-scientists by offering training in science communication, plain language, and working with the media.

Jana is a former US government plain language trainer. During her career she has also been a public affairs officer for a US government science agency, deputy press secretary for a US Senator, and a daily newspaper reporter and editor. In September 2015, she became a board member of PLAIN and has been its vice-president since 2018. She is a former board member of the Center for Plain Language and a member of the US National Press Club and the American Geophysical Union.

Cooling the Heat on Climate: Do plain-spoken scientists result in better public understanding?

Climate is a hot topic - in more ways than one. One approach to public understanding is to hear from the scientists about how and why our climate is changing and how it affects our daily lives. Many scientific organizations have programs to help scientists use plain language to talk about climate and many other scientific topics. But is this working? We'll look at some who are doing it effectively, especially in the US where the public understanding is mixed at best. 

González-Ruiz, Victor (Lecturer in legal translation at the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)

Víctor González-Ruiz works as a lecturer in legal translation at the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, where he obtained his PhD degree in translation in 2002. For over 20 years he has also worked as a part-time official translator in Spain. He is particularly committed to achieving clarity in legal translations, and has made it the focus of his teaching, practice and study. He has reported the results of his research in several international conferences (among them, PLAIN and Clarity meetings) and publications.

Addressing the unclear wording of insurance documents: The need for public policies

In Spain, as in many other countries, most people find insurance terms very hard to understand. This concern becomes a real problem (with real consequences) when the person not understanding the terms in the insurance contract is the person being insured. In this presentation we will discuss how public policies, in Spain and elsewhere, may help to remedy this problem.

Grande, Trine Skei (Minister of Culture and Equality, Norway) 

Trine Skei Grande is a Norwegian politician. She is currently the Minister of Culture and Equality.

Plain language in Norwegian government

The project "Plain language in Norway’s Civil Service" was launched in 2009 as a prioritized government initiative. The aim was to stimulate government agencies to adopt clear and user-friendly language. The project formally ended in 2012, but most activities continued as a joint venture between The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation and The Ministry of Culture. This interdisciplinary government initiative demonstrates the power of combining efforts and know-how across policy areas.

Grande is presenting with Monica Mæland. 

TBAGraver, Hans Petter (University of Oslo)

Title to be announced

TBA

Green, Nadja (Plain Language Institute, South Africa)

Nadja Green is responsible for plain language writing and editing, strategy development and research at BHI32 and the Plain Language Institute. Nadja is also a qualified teacher with teaching experience.

Nadja has a master’s degree from the University of Pretoria. The title of her dissertation is “A conceptual framework for the alignment of plain language and strategic management in the short-term insurance industry”.

A conceptual framework for the alignment of plain language and strategic management in the short-term insurance industry

In South Africa, insurance companies are required by law to communicate with their customers in plain language. The definition of plain language in the legislation provides a useful guide for plain language implementation by emphasising the role of customers. According to the definition, a document is in plain language if a customer finds the content easily accessible and readily understandable. The implementation of plain language, however, remains a challenge. Insurance companies are making an effort to comply with the regulatory requirements of plain language, but these efforts are often haphazard. A need therefore exists to improve the sustainability of plain language implementation.

This presentation puts forward a conceptual framework for the alignment of plain language and strategic management. It is hoped that the conceptual framework will help organisations, such as short-term insurance companies, to implement plain language in a more systematic and sustainable manner.

Gudlaugsdottir, Hlin Helga (Independent designer, curator and mentor

Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir is an independent designer, curator and a consultant to companies on design thinking, innovation and creative leadership, most recently at the Nordic management consulting firm Capacent. Hlín has been involved in education and research at universities around the world since 2009 through her posts at Konstfack, University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm and the Iceland Academy of the Arts, and as a fellow at the think tank W.I.R.E. Hlin also curates exhibitions and events, notably the annual DesignTalks for the Iceland Design Centre, and continues to teach and mentor at various Institutions.

How to improve the patient experience at the University Hospital in Reykjavik

The presentation is about a project aimed at improving patients' experiences at the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik, led by Hlin Helga, then adjunct in Design at the Iceland University of the Arts.

The project evolved around improved patient experience applying design thinking and human-centred design methods. The designers collaborated closely with medical experts and users on the interiors. These were meant to ooze wellbeing while reducing stress and anxiety through colors, materials, improved layout and visual clues, including a new signage system.

Involving users was fundamental for the process - through the initial co-creation sessions and research to the more down-to-earth prototyping phase; and from simple feedback on the size of the letters on the walls or the seating to testing wayfinding and reflections on the tone off directions and warnings.

Guldvik, Anne Johanne (Headmaster, Lier High School)

Anne Johanne Guldvik is the headmaster of Lier high school.

“Well, I’m not sure” – user testing texts with youth

How do teenagers read government texts? What do they understand and what makes the texts difficult to comprehend? Which strategies are they applying when trying to grasp the message of the texts and are they interpreting them correctly? In this presentation we will share our findings from the user tests in Buskerud County Municipality, where only 1 in 40 students were able to understand the core message in the original versions of the letters.

Guldvik is presenting with Karolina Netland. 

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Hallik, Katrin (Institute of the Estonian Language, Estonia)

Katrin Hallik works as a Senior Language Planner at the Institute of the Estonian Language, where she has initiated the development of clear language, creating cooperation between different institutions, organizing clear language trainings, seminars and conferences. She has launched the clear language award for both public and private enterprises in Estonia.

Katrin has a background of an interpreter and translator and has worked as a national expert for the European Commission in Luxembourg in 2012-2013. She was also partner in the IC Clear project of the European Commission.

Building Clear Language Strategy in Estonia

We have been lucky to initiate the practice of clear language in Estonia. We have been developing it in two directions: on the society level (doing clear language trainings for officials, presenting it in media, organising language campaigns, holding seminars, think tanks and conferences, ordering target group studies), and on the lawmakers’ level (lobbying among lawyers, involving the Estonian Chancellor of Justice as our endorser). We have launched the Clear Communication Award in Estonia and organized two International Clear Language Conferences. 

Hallik is presenting with Katre Kasemets.

Hammer, Ann-Elisabeth (The Norwegian Food Safety Authority)

Ann-Elisabeth Hammer has a university degree including political science, media science and Nordic languages and literature. She works as senior adviser communications and coordinator for plain language at the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. She has more than years’ experience in communications, 16 of them as head of communication (at ministries, directorates, research institutes and governmental agencies).

Don't mislead the consumers! How plain language motivates to follow EU regulations

Hear the story of how user tests and systematic efforts related to plain language motivated businesses to follow regulations and trust the government.

Hammer is presenting with Margrethe Kilde Nes and Ida Marie Pedersen.

Hedberg, Ester (Project manager at the National Association of Dyslexia, Sweden)

Ester Hedberg is project manager at the Swedish National Association of Dyslexia. She has a background as a journalist with experience writing for people with reading difficulties. She also works with other projects, such as the Erasmus+ project EASIT, standardization and politics.

19 items that makes a text easier to understand – Struggling readers in Sweden speaks out

20 people with cognitive difficulties related to reading and writing are the foundation of a project called “Understandable Text” (Begriplig Text in Swedish). We have worked together to find out how to recognize, discuss and analyze attributes in a text and the layout of a text that enhance or complicate reading and comprehension. 

19 items have been identified. Those items have later been ranked by 500 users with different reading-related impairments, showing that groups rank the items slightly different. Results from the project have been transformed to advice for text producers. 

Hedberg is presenting with Stefan Johansson.

 

Herbert, Ingrid (Plain Language Consultant and UX Writer at Skatteverket)

Ingrid Herbert is a Plain Language Consultant and UX Writer.

Selling property – from 91% incorrect tax returns to user-friendly guide

Everyone that sells a privately-owned property in Sweden needs to declare the sale in their income tax return to the Swedish Tax Agency. The rules are difficult and 91% of tax returns for this type of tax declaration are wrong. A cross-functional team at the Swedish Tax Agency was tasked to correct this problem. The solution was service design, a content driven method based on customer insights. The team worked within an agile framework to understand the users’ challenges and implement solutions with emphasis on plain language. 

Herbert is presenting with Kalle Persson.

Holgersen, Marianne Holt (Communications advisor at the KLP Group, Norway)

Cand. mag. University of Oslo. Communications advisor.

How a plain language project changed the whole culture in Norway's largest pension fund. KLP saves Kåre!

For five years, KLP (Norway's largest pension fund) has worked with a customer communication project called "Save Kåre". Kåre is the symbol of our customer, and our goal is to communicate so that Kåre understands. In this session you will learn how we have changed the culture of KLP through this language project, and what results we have achieved.

You will also learn about specific tools that will help you communicate better, and make the recipient more satisfied. Simply, how to write in a way so that your customer understands.

Holm, Rigmor (Counsellor, Central Hospital in Telemark, Norway)

Rigmor Holm is a counsellor in sexual health and in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. She is a supervisor for community services and co-author for "What do the words mean?" (2012) about rights and community services, and "What do the words mean? – sexual health" (2016), both aimed for young people with intellectual impairment.

Understanding intercourse

Intercourse, penis and vulva versus fuck, dick and pussy: The difference between professional language and everyday talk poses a barrier for everyone, and even more so for intellectually impaired persons. Research has shown that they are more vulnerable for sexual abuse as well as developing sexually inadequate behaviour. The internet can possibly mislead them and make exploitation worse. Our book provides a tool for talking about sexual health issues in simple and straightforward manner.

Holm is presenting with Arja Melteig.

Hydbom, Mats (Språkkonsulterna, Sweden)

Mats Hydbom is a plain language consultant and expert in rhetorics at the agency Språkkonsulterna in Stockholm, Sweden.

Target group involvement in two plain language projects within Stockholm Public Transport

One customer, two text types, two different target groups. In this presentation, language consultants Mats Hydbom and Caroline Björklund from the agency Språkkonsulterna share their experiences working with plain language projects for Stockholm Public Transport. They will take you through different ways of involving the target groups in plain language projects, as well as share some of the results. 

Hydbom is presenting with Caroline Björklund.

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Jaensson, Annasara (Sprakkonsulterna, Sweden)

Annasara Jaensson is a plain language consultant at Språkkonsulterna. She is an experienced lecturer and educator in clear writing for various media. She is also senior advisor and driving force in several major language projects, for example at various government authorities and county administrative boards. She has a bachelor’s degree from the Swedish language consultancy programme and a BA with a major in music.

 

Writing for the web – more than SEO and CTA

When writing web copy, many of us know that it is important to optimize the text for search engines and offer a clear call to action to the user. But there is so much more we can do, based on readers’ online behaviour. In this workshop, Annasara Jaensson shares Språkkonsulterna’s basic formula for writing texts that guide and help the users based on web reading patterns – CAT, a concept that has proven successful when working with editors, clients’ texts and in teaching. It focuses on skills you can easily put to practical use. You are welcome to discuss, learn and practice in this creative session! 

James, Neil (Executive Director of the Plain English Foundation, Australia)

Dr. Neil James is Executive Director of the Plain English Foundation in Australia, which combines plain English training, editing and evaluation with a campaign for more ethical public language. Neil initially worked in government, media and publishing before completing a doctorate in English at the University of Sydney. He then established the Foundation with Dr Peta Spear in 2003. Neil has published three books and over 90 articles and essays on language and literature. From 2008 to 2015 he served as chair of the International Plain Language Working Group, and from 2015 to 2017 as President of PLAIN.

The critical success factors for plain language reform: An 18-year survey

It is now almost a decade since the Plain Writing Act in the United States brought renewed international attention to clear communication. But how far have we progressed in the years since then? Neil James will survey the positive impacts plain language has brought around the globe through:

  • increased recognition
  • new networks in more countries and languages
  • established models for reform
  • more professional practice.

Jensen, Ingrid Støver (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), Norway)

Ingrid Støver Jensen works at Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) with product development as head of the weather service, Yr. She has 20 years of product development experience in the media industry, web and apps and studied innovation and service design at Norwegian Business School (BI) and earned a master’s degree in media and communication from University of Oslo (UiO).

The squeeze between meteorology and the weather as people experience it. How we strive to make the weather service Yr user-friendly for non-experts

It is all about perspective: Which point of view do you perceive and what perspective is relevant for your user?  Meteorology is complicated mathematics while weather is an immediate experience. This gap results in constantly dilemmas for us working with Yr as we must balance the development for both the needs of experts and most people. This presentation will reveal processes, tools and examples of what we have learned and how we work, including work with language, in order to give all kind of users an even more useful new service.  

Johansen, Martin R. (the National Norwegian Collection Agency, Norway)

Martin Johansen is a senior officer at The Norwegian Tax Administration, who likes to guide people with debt problems to find the solutions we offer.

Martin has been involved in the work for plain language at the National Norwegian Collection Agency since 2010.

Clear language promotes clear action

Aleksander and Martin want to show you how, in their experience, plain language and clear communication has promoted desired user action by lifting the clouds and fog of unnecessary communication.  

It has been a prerequisite to build user-friendly solutions on our website, so that more people can help themselves. People need plain language to easily find the information they seek, to clearly apprehend what action they should take, and to understand what their legal rights are.

The presentation will give you the tools and secrets of how clear communication has led to reduced queues and streamlined our phone services, how it has made written communication exceedingly more comprehensible for the users and how it has promoted a culture of empathy towards our users and their situation promoting a strong service mindset instilled in the entire organization.   

Johansen is presenting with Aleksander Millang. 

Johansson, Stefan (Begripsam AB, Sweden)

Stefan Johansson has a PhD in Human Computer Interaction, and focusses on accessibility and universal design. Research area: Participation in the digital society.

19 items that makes a text easier to understand – Struggling readers in Sweden speaks out

20 people with cognitive difficulties related to reading and writing are the foundation of a project called “Understandable Text” (Begriplig Text in Swedish). We have worked together to find out how to recognize, discuss and analyze attributes in a text and the layout of a text that enhance or complicate reading and comprehension. 

 19 items have been identified. Those items have later been ranked by 500 users with different reading-related impairments, showing that groups rank the items slightly different. Results from the project have been transformed to advice for text producers. 

 

Johansson is presenting with Ester Hedberg.

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Kasemets, Katre (Senior Terminologist at theInstitute of the Estonian Language, Estonia)

Katre Kasemets has an MA degree in Estonian Philology from Tallinn University. From 2002 to 2008, she worked as Language Editor and Head of the Language Department at the Estonian Encyclopaedia Publishers Ltd. Since 2008, Katre has been Senior Terminologist at the Institute of the Estonian Language. In 2011 and 2014 she has worked in Luxembourg at the European Commission in the Estonian Language Department as seconded national expert on terminology. Katre has been in the clear language field for several years and advocated the plain language usage in Estonia.

Building Clear Language Strategy in Estonia

We have been lucky to initiate the practice of clear language in Estonia. We have been developing it in two directions: on the society level (doing clear language trainings for officials, presenting it in media, organising language campaigns, holding seminars, think tanks and conferences, ordering target group studies), and on the lawmakers’ level (lobbying among lawyers, involving the Estonian Chancellor of Justice as our endorser). We have launched the Clear Communication Award in Estonia and organized two International Clear Language Conferences. 

Kasemets is presenting with Katrin Hallik.

Kingsley, Barbara (Partner at Kleimann Communication Group, USA)

Dr. Barbara Kingsley is an Adjunct Professor of Ethics at Gonzaga University and partner at Kleimann Communication Group. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the Center for Plain Language and has served as Lead Judge for the ClearMark Awards.

“This is an emergency…”: Plain language in disaster response

When disaster strikes, every word counts! Emergencies require clear, direct communication provided through channels that are accessible to the people most in need. This presentation will look at what gets in the way such clear, direct communication. Taking recent disasters in the U.S. as case studies, it will highlight missed opportunities for a clear, targeted, situational approach. It will then lay out some key principles for emergency communication focusing on context, comprehension, and cognition. 

Ethics and the Underbelly of Plain Language

In plain language consulting, we often assume plain language serves the pure of heart and motive, but what of underbelly industries like payday loans, multilevel marketing or sub-prime mortgage lenders? These companies have a primary business demographic of vulnerable populations. How do they use plain language? As consultants, are we supporting the business goals or protecting their end customer? What is our responsibility? What ethical questions should we ask ourselves? How do we guard against the exploitation of our reputation? How can we demand and set limits? Explore with us.   

Dr. Kingsley is presenting with Dr. Susan Kleimann and Julie Clement.

TBA

Kim, Myung jin (The vice president of Hangul Culture Solidarity)

Publisher; Pieonabooks. Member of the Korean Writing Committee of Seoul.

Plain language movement protects the right to know and the safety of the citizens in South Korea

Korean people only use Korean language, but since 1945 English has had a strong influence on Korean language. Civil servants often use English words while naming the policies and explaining administrative procedure, even in the field of safety. In Korea, English education is important, but English is not used in everyday life. So most Koreans don’t know English well. It threatens the right to know and the safety of citizens. I believe Plain Korean Movement protects them. “Language is a human right.”

Kimble, Joseph (Western Michigan University–Cooley Law School, USA)

Prof. Joseph Kimble taught legal writing and drafting for more than 30 years at Western Michigan University–Cooley Law School, in Michigan. He now provides seminars for legal and business organizations. He has lectured throughout the United States and abroad, published many articles on legal writing, and written three books, the latest of which is "Seeing Through Legalese: More Essays on Plain Language." His book "Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please" collects empirical evidence about the benefits of plain language in business, government, and law. He is senior editor of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, the longtime editor of the “Plain Language” column in the Michigan Bar Journal, a past president of Clarity, and a founding director of the Center for Plain Language. Since 1999, he has been the drafting consultant on all US federal court rules. He has received several national and international awards for his work.

The case for plain language in business, government, and law

I have been writing about the extraordinary benefits of plain language for more than 20 years. In 2012, I published the book "Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please," which summarizes 50 empirical case studies that demonstrate those benefits - many with savings that run into the millions of dollars. For those that don't already know the book, I'll summarize the kinds of benefits. For those that do, I'll briefly mention some more recent studies. If there's time, I'll illustrate the difficulty of getting information like this and the critical importance of our being able to substantiate it.  

Kleimann, Susan (Kleimann Communication Group, USA)

Dr. Susan Kleimann, Ph.D., President of Kleimann Communication Group, Inc., has over 35 years of experience with public, non-profit, and private sector organizations. Since founding her company in 1997, Dr. Kleimann has focused on designing and testing disclosures for consumers and extrapolating the principles that work. Her specialty is in information design, usability testing, and qualitative testing with a focus on working at the intersection where complex policy meets consumer communication.

From 2015-2018, she served as the chair of the Center for Plain Language and currently continues to serve as a member of the Standards Committee of the International Plain Language Federation, which is developing an international standard for plain language through ISO/TC37.  

An ISO standard for plain language: Where are we up to?

At Clarity’s conference in 2018, the 300+ attendees approved a proposal to develop an optional multi-language standard for plain language under the auspices of the International Standards Organization (ISO). The session was presented by the International Plain Language Federation ― a joint project of Clarity, PLAIN, and The Center for Plain Language. The intent is to develop a standard that will work in most, if not all, languages.

The Committee is applying to the ISO at the time of writing. This session will be an update on the process and a review of the then current draft.

Dr. Kleimann is presenting with Dr. Annetta Cheek, Christopher Balmford, Dr. Rosa M Galan and Sissel C. Motzfeldt.

Ethics and the Underbelly of Plain Language

In plain language consulting, we often assume plain language serves the pure of heart and motive, but what of underbelly industries like payday loans, multilevel marketing or sub-prime mortgage lenders? These companies have a primary business demographic of vulnerable populations. How do they use plain language? As consultants, are we supporting the business goals or protecting their end customer? What is our responsibility? What ethical questions should we ask ourselves? How do we guard against the exploitation of our reputation? How can we demand and set limits? Explore with us.   

Dr. Kleimann is presenting with Julie Clement and Dr. Barbara Kingsley.

Kvale, Knut (Telenor, Norway)

Dr. Knut Kvale has a technical education combined with a broad research experience as researcher and research manager within a variety of fields ranging from detailed technical issues to customer experience and service innovation.

A driving motivation for his research is to make the communication between humans and computers as natural and convenient as possible. He has therefore devoted his research to human-machine interaction and multi-channel customer experience. In this context, he has contributed to the development of a framework for service design called Customer Journey Mapping. He is currently exploring the user experience of chatbots, also referred to as conversational agents or virtual agents.

How to communicate user experience in a consistent and effective manner?

All companies want satisfied customers. But do we really know how the customers experience the interactions with the company? 

Kvarenes, Margrethe (PLAIN President and a manager at the Language Council of Norway, Norway)

Margrethe Kvarenes is PLAIN President and a manager at the Language Council of Norway, a government agency and host of this conference. As plain language advocate, lecturer, and author she has played a major part in establishing plain language in Norway’s civil service – an initiative which has set a new standard for public communication in Norway.

Pre-conference opening speech

Together, Margrethe Kvarenes, President of PLAIN and Prof. Johan Tønnesson, University of Oslo, Norway will open the pre-conference. 

The Norwegian Case: A 10-year Plain Language Odyssey

2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of a systematic, government-supported plain language work in Norway. Among the milestones are the University of Oslo’s initiative to implement plain language principles in law education, a bachelor’s degree in plain language and a 5-year programme for plain language in the Norwegian municipalities. Together, Margrethe Kvarenes from the Language Council of Norway and Grete Orderud from the Agency of Management and eGovernment will take you through this 10-year odyssey, outlining the main pillars of the Norwegian model and looking into the crystal ball.

Kvarenes is presenting with Grete Orderud. 

Conference opening speech 

Together, Margrethe Kvarenes, President of PLAIN, Steffen Sutorius, director of the Agency of Management and eGovernment and Åse Wetås, director of the Language Council of Norway will open the conference.

Kwiatkowska, Anna (Play, Poland)

Anna works as a Content Designer in the UX team at Play, a major Polish telco. She drives the change of the company’s language, as used both internally and externally. As an editor of books, documents and manuals, she specializes in adapting texts to the plain language standard. Since 2015, she has been affiliated with the Plain Language Workshop at University of Wrocław. 

An avid practitioner of empathic and non-violent communication, Anna has been running workshops and trainings for over six years. Since 2017, she has been lecturing Content Design at the UX postgraduate programme at AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków.

From one document to a revolution: An ongoing case study

How can you measure the usefulness of a document?

Do customers prefer to be greeted with “hello” or “good morning”?

What is a corporation afraid of (referring to plain language, of course)? 

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Lane, Sarah (Irish Cancer Society, Ireland)

Sarah Lane is a patient information editor at the Irish Cancer Society, working on literacy-friendly web content and booklets for people with cancer. She also delivers plain language training within the organisation and with external stakeholders.

She has also worked extensively in the Irish health service, notably preparing the content and supporting information for the website www.askaboutalcohol.ie.

The role of clear communication in boosting health literacy and improving cancer outcomes

4 in 10 people in Europe have low health literacy. The significant negative impact of low health literacy on people’s wellbeing is becoming recognised more and more.

This presentation from the Irish Cancer Society will discuss how poor health literacy can act as a barrier to good health, including findings from our research on men’s health literacy. It will also give insights into how to identify and address these barriers, with practical examples from the Irish Cancer Society’s Information Development team.

Lee, Keon bum (Hangul Culture Solidarity, the Solidarity for Korean and Hangul culture)

Keon bum Lee is an author and the most influential language activist for the Korean plain language and the president of Hangul Culture Solidarity. He was jailed twice for the Korean democracy, and is almost blind and uses applications to read and write. Language Is A Human Right (2017) (selected as one of Sejong books 2018 in Korea).

Plain language movement protects the right to know and the safety of the citizens in South Korea

Korean people only use Korean language, but since 1945 English has had a strong influence on Korean language. Civil servants often use English words while naming the policies and explaining administrative procedure, even in the field of safety. In Korea, English education is important, but English is not used in everyday life. So most Koreans don’t know English well. It threatens the right to know and the safety of citizens. I believe Plain Korean Movement protects them. “Language is a human right.”

Lenberg, Eva (Director-General, the Ministry of Education and Research, Sweden)

Eva Lenberg is Director-General for Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Research.

Plain language to implement politics

Plain language is important to make regulations and decisions clear for the intended reader. It’s also an important tool in the legislative process itself to gain support for the pro­posal during various stages of the working process. The presentation will be about plain language methods used by a ministry in the Swedish Government Offices and supported by the Secretariat for Legal and Linguistic Draft Revision at the Prime Minister’s Office, with the common goal of reaching out with governmental politics.

Lenberg is presenting with Eva Thorén.

Lipscomb, David (Director of the Writing Center and Assistant Professor at Georgetown University)

Dr. David Lipscomb is the Director of the Writing Center and Assistant Professor at Georgetown University. At Georgetown, David incorporates plain writing principles into his courses and has designed assignments in which students complete plain writing challenges for a number of government agencies. Outside academia, he has taught writing to hundreds of employees from dozens of corporations, nonprofits and government agencies, including Kellogg, Fannie Mae, the Red Cross, the EPA and the VA. As a Board member of the Center for Plain Language, David leads the Center’s Report Card program.

Do We Make the Grade for Clear Communications and Clear Results? Two U.S. PL Organizations and the Federal Report Card

How do we measure compliance with the U.S. law, the Plain Writing Act? How do we tell if federal agencies are enforcing plain language? Hear how two U.S. organizations - the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) and the Center for Plain Language - address the issue. Every year, the Center issues the Federal Report Card that grades certain federal agencies. PLAIN's approach is more of a carrot offering free training and a supportive community of practice. Hear how we work together to encourage plain language in the U.S. federal government and how we address our challenges.

Dr. Lipscomb is presenting with Katherine Spivey.

Lorianni, Deanna (Co-owner of Zuula)

Deanna Lorianni is co-owner of Zuula, a US–based communications strategy firm that helps organizations create clear, compelling content. She has over a decade of industry experience, with a niche serving regulated and service-based clients. Deanna is a PLAIN member and served as a judge for the New Zealand Plain English Awards in 2017 and 2018.

Create Inclusive Content: Why your design and language matter

Inclusivity supports communities and fosters equity among people. Yet many organizations can overlook the fact that not every person experiences content the same way. By doing so, they build unnecessary barriers to information for people with differing abilities. This presentation addresses the principles of inclusive design and how organizations can use design and language strategies to create inclusive content experiences.

Lorianni is presenting with Asst. Prof. John O'Neill.

Unmasking Confusion: The Language and Ethics of Transparency

In the age of social media and conscious capitalism, transparency is important for society — and essential for the bottom line. We will show how specific grammar and writing techniques can obscure messages and allow communicators to hide behind language. We’ll use data and real-world examples to illustrate our points, as well as provide tips for creating transparency in all communications. Gain: - awareness of language features that create confusion; - tools for recognizing and pushing back on purposeful ambiguity; - techniques for constructing language that increases transparency.

Lorianni is presenting with Meghan Walker Codd.

Lutterman, Karin (Languages and Linguistics, Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Germany)

Prof. Karin Luttermann is Professor of German Language and Linguistics at the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany. She holds a PhD in German Language and Linguistics from the University of Münster, Germany. She habilitated on language use and comprehensibility in legal communication in monolingual and multilingual settings. Her research focuses on applied linguistics, text linguistics, language policy, knowledge mediation, multilingualism, specialist communication with a particular focus on law. Since 2016 she is head of the section Language for Speci­fic Purposes of the Society for Applied Linguistics. 

Clear language as a concept in linguistic pragmatics for legal communication

 Plain language is a form of barrier-free communication and is meant to make (specialist) information and (professional) communication accessible to certain target groups (for example persons with mental disabilities). It originated from practice-oriented work. On a linguistic basis, the contribution argues for the use of clear language and for a wider perspective on the concept of lay persons within expert-layperson communication. The key question is how legal texts (statutory law) can be clearly formulated and conveyed to the addressees (including the aver-age person). We offer a sound solution: the comprehensibility model of legal language.

Lutz, Benedikt (Course Director at Donau-Universität Krems, Austria)

Benedikt Lutz is Dr. habil. in Applied Liguistics and the Course Director at Danube University Krems (an Austrian University for Continuing Education). Topics of specific interest: comprehensibility of technical communication, knowledge management, quality management.

Plain Language and Applied Linguistics: An Integrated View on Technical Communication

Academic research on text comprehensibility and plain language practitioners have many common goals, but communication between both sides is often cumbersome. I developed a model for comprehensible technical communication, which tries to combine different views. On the one hand, results of different research disciplines (linguistics, cognitive science, usability, info design, etc.) are taken into account. On the other hand, raising the "language awareness" without too much scientific jargon is an important goal for producing effective and efficient texts for users. 

Lynghammar, Vidar (NTB Arkitekst, Norway)

Vidar Lynghammar has a master’s degree (hovedfag) in Nordic languages and has been working as a plain language consultant the last 16 years.

 

Ambiguous language in municipalities’ decision-making documents – a local democracy problem

What characterizes the language in decision-making documents in a norwegian municipality? Why is the wording as it is? What may the consequences of ambigious language in these texts be? Hear how Stavanger Municipality has worked on these issues.

How can plain language contribute to improvements in patients’ preparation before hospital arrival?

What may be the effects of using plain language in a hospital? How can plain language contribute to improvements in patients’ preparation before hospital arrival? Hear about the potential of plain language in health care, and what Helgeland Hospital Trust has done to improve their admission letters.

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Malan, Morné (Global Head of Brand Language at Dimension Data, South Africa)

Dr. Morné Malan is the Global Head of Brand Language at Dimension Data, where he's been involved in marketing content development for the last 8 years. He's an experienced content strategist and seasoned language practitioner with proven expertise in content development across all formats and channels. This includes writing, editing, language services and brand language management in a range of industries such as technology, retail, and healthcare. Malan holds a PhD in English from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and he's also an award-winning creative writer and published author in English and Afrikaans.

Building Better Business Blogs: A Case Study in Plain Language Testing

How do you begin to prove that plain language makes digital corporate content more effective? The brand team at Dimension Data (now NTT) planned and implemented a simple “before” and “after” plain language testing project focusing on business blogs. The results showed that plain language not only makes digital content more readable, but also drives users to click to more. In this case study, Dr Morné Malan, Group Head of Brand Language at NTT, uses heat maps, click maps, and user graphics to highlight the programme's successes and challenges that your organisation can learn from. 

Mavrič, Valter (European Parliament, Luxembourg)

Valter Mavrič (1964), born in Postojna, Slovenia, is Director-General of the Translation DG at the European Parliament since 2016, where he was previously acting Director-General (from 2014), Director (from 2010) and Head of the Slovenian Translation Unit (from 2004). With an MA in applied linguistics and further training in translation, interpretation, linguistics and management, he has experience as manager, translator, interpreter and teacher of languages. He works in Slovenian, Italian, English, French, and Croatian and is currently preparing a PhD in strategic communication at the University of Maribor (Slovenia).

Citizens’ language at the European Parliament - bridging the gap in 24 languages

A bold new enterprise began at the European Parliament in 2017: moving away from the complex language of the EU to the language of the citizens... in 24 languages. A degree of introspection, a good dose of professional training, the expertise of hundreds of intercultural and language professionals and a little courage helped pave the way for new formats that speak directly to the citizens. Clear language in text, audio and video is the product of all these efforts. And that’s just the beginning of the story. 

Mehlum, Aksel Torsnes (The Language Council of Norway, Norway)

Aksel is a senior adviser at the Language Council and also an authorised Oslo Guide. He will take us past a number of landmarks and sculptures and tell the story of some of the notables contributing to the development of this nation’s culture.

A Linguistic Walk in the Palace Park

Strolling in the footsteps of some of the personalities who shaped Norwegian language and history.

Melteig, Arja (Occupational Therapist, Central Hospital in Telemark, Norway)

Arja Melteig is an occupational therapist, counsellor in sexual health, supervisor for community services and co-author for "What do the words mean?" (2012) about rights and community services, and "What do the words mean? – sexual health" (2016), both aimed for young people with light intellectual impairment.

Understanding intercourse

Intercourse, penis and vulva versus fuck, dick and pussy: The difference between professional language and everyday talk poses a barrier for everyone, and even more so for intellectually impaired persons. Research has shown that they are more vulnerable for sexual abuse as well as developing sexually inadequate behaviour. The internet can possibly mislead them and make exploitation worse. Our book provides a tool for talking about sexual health issues in a simple and straightforward manner.

Melteig is presenting with Rigmor Holm.

Mikalsen, Kjersti (Senior advisor at Utdanningsdirektoratet)

Kjersti Mikalsen is a senior advisor at Utdanningsdirektoratet.

Plain language is not the last leg in a relay

Norway is in the process of renewing the curricula for all the subjects in primary and secondary school. The new curricula shall help pupils develop competences they need in the future. An important success factor is that the curricula are easy to understand for all who wil use them. Clear language is therefore important. We have to keep clear language in mind during the entire process - it is not something we will "fix" in the end. To succeed in making curricula that everybody can understand and relate to, we work simultaneously with: - the actual content, - plain language, - user interface.

Mikalsen is presenting with Linda Sørfjord. 

Millang, Aleksander (the National Norwegian Collection Agency, Norway)

Aleksander Millang is the former Head of Information at the Norwegian National Collection Agency, now senior digital and innovations advisor at the collection division of The Norwegian Tax Administration.  My earliest memories are from cave divings and shark fishing in Muscat, Oman. I grew up living abroad in a typical expat household. Both my parents are Norwegian, but I didn't speak Norwegian at home before I was well into my teens. As other people who have grown up in a diverse society, I can testify to the richness of cultures you get exposed to. Being exposed to different ways of communicating very early on has led to my fascination with how we communicate and connect with people. And in an age where everyone from your CEO to your grandmother talks about digitalization, AI, killer robots and digital transformation, I think a lot of what we are missing is interhuman communication. Simple communication is imperative at getting your message across, obtaining desired outcomes and promoting clear and understandable action.  

Clear language promotes clear action

Aleksander and Martin want to show you how, in our experience, plain language and clear communication has promoted desired user action by lifting the clouds and fog of unnecessary communication.  

It has been a prerequisite to build user-friendly solutions on our website, so that more people can help themselves. People need plain language to easily find the information they seek, to clearly apprehend what action they should take, and to understand what their legal rights are.

We want to give you the tools and secrets of how clear communication has led to reduced queues and streamlined our phone services, how it has made written communication exceedingly more comprehendible for our users and how it has promoted a culture of empathy towards our users and their situation promoting a strong service mindset instilled in the entire organization.   

Millang is presenting with Martin Johansen. 

Miranda, Alex (Kleimann Communication Group, USA)

With a background in statistical analysis and quantitative research methods, Alex applies innovative methods of analyzing data to elicit meaningful insights and create positive consumer-based outcomes.

Through the eyes of the user: Eye tracking for better test results

What could you learn if you could look through your users’ eyes? Well, you can. This presentation will discuss how eye tracking software + a think aloud protocol can provide a robust view of the user experience when testing written and online information. Specifically, eye tracking can tell us what is seen and what is not seen – as well as how and where users fixate as they engage with a piece of information. By learning more about what our users actually do, we can create better, clearer, and ultimately more results-oriented information.

Moline, Mialisa (University of Wisconsin-River Falls, USA)

Mialisa Moline is a Professor of English at UWRF, where she teaches technical and professional writing and is currently conducting eye-tracking research involving usability studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University.

Teaching the Transition from Academic-Speak to Plain Language

This poster presentation examines the space between academic, essay-like writing and writing for the workplace. The presenters will provide real-world approaches for instruction and assessment, addressing teaching and assessment methods that encourage the use of plain language by students and foster improved understanding of its relevance and importance.

Moline is presenting with Matthew Philion. 

Morelli, Angela (Information designer at Infodesignlab, Norway)

Angela Morelli is an award-winning Italian information designer based in Norway. From sustainability to social justice, from climate to health science, her goal is to co-design together with scientists and professionals to co-create engaging solutions that empower an audience to see patterns, make informed decisions and think systematically about a challenge. Angela gained her MA in Information Design from Central Saint Martins in London. She previously gained a degree in Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and an MA in Industrial Design. She is an acclaimed international speaker, an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins in London and a visiting lecturer at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. She has been jury member of the International Institute of Information Design Award, and along with philanthropist Paul Polak, ethologist Jane Goodall, water scientist Tony Allan and other individuals committed to defend planetary ecosystems, she has been awarded Il Monito del Giardino Award in 2013. Angela was named a 2012 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Designing for impact: The story behind the figures of the most important climate reports of the 21st century

How can we design information in such a way that allows us to transform it into valuable knowledge, effective tools for decision making and, hopefully, action and change? Angela will guide you through the journey of co-creating engaging design solutions and data-rich visualisations that empower audiences to see patterns, think systematically and make informed decisions about the biggest challenges we face together as a society. 

Motzfeldt, Sissel (previously the Agency of Management and eGovernment, Norway)

Sissel was a fulltime manager for the project “Clear language in laws and regulations” from 2012 until she retired in 2018. She was the first manager for the project "Plain Language in Norway’s Civil Service" (2009 – 2011). She has more than 40 years of experience from the Norwegian Central Government as a communication advisor and communication manager.

Fight the fog in the EU legislation!

PLAIN, Clarity and EU members must take steps to promote plain language in the EU legislation.

Why do we have to inherit the fog in legalese from EU? We know that plain language ​​has been on the EU agenda for many years, but the work done to establish plain language principles and guides does not seem to have borne fruit. EU rules are increasingly promulgated as regulations to ensure that the rules are the same from country to country. Regulations are to be implemented “as such”. The wording of directives and regulations is often quite inaccessible. The texts are detailed and contain many provisos. They are also very extensive. So why do we have to close our eyes to the very fact that our successful plain language work in laws in Norway are now threatened by the EU fog?  

Motzfeldt is presenting with Ragnhild Samuelsberg.  

An ISO standard for plain language: Where are we up to?

At Clarity’s conference in 2018, the 300+ attendees approved a proposal to develop an optional multi-language standard for plain language under the auspices of the International Standards Organization (ISO). The session was presented by the International Plain Language Federation ― a joint project of Clarity, PLAIN, and The Center for Plain Language. The intent is to develop a standard that will work in most, if not all, languages.

The Committee is applying to the ISO at the time of writing. This session will be an update on the process and a review of the then current draft.

Motzfeldt is presenting with Dr. Annetta Cheek, Christopher Balmford, Dr. Rosa M Galan and Dr. Kleimann.

Mæland, Monica (Minister of Local Government and Modernisation, Norway)

Monica Mæland is a Norwegian politician. She is currently Minister of Local Government and Modernisation.

Plain language in Norwegian government

The project “Plain Language in Norway’s Civil Service” was launched in 2009 as a prioritized government initiative. The aim was to stimulate government agencies to adopt clear and user-friendly language. The project formally ended in 2012, but most activities continued as a joint venture between The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation and The Ministry of Culture. This interdisciplinary government initiative demonstrates the power of combining efforts and know-how across policy areas.

Mæland is presenting with Trine Skei Grande. 

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Nes, Margrete Kilde (NTB Arkitekst, Norway)

Margrete Kilde Nes has a graduate degree in Nordic languages and literature. For the past 16 years she has worked for the plain language consultancy NTB Arkitekst, giving courses, doing user testing, editing and developing guidelines and templates. She has specialized in plain legal language and has contributed to developing many laws and other regulations at different levels.

Don't mislead the consumers! How plain language motivates to follow EU-regulations

Hear the story of how user tests and systematic efforts related to plain language motivated businesses to follow regulations and trust the government.

Nes is presenting with Ann-Elisabeth Hammer.

Netland, Karolina (NTB Arkitekst, Norway)

Karolina Netland is the CEO of NTB Arkitekst and has been working with plain language for 15 years.

“Well, I’m not sure” – user testing texts with youth

How do teenagers read government texts? What do they understand and what makes the texts difficult to comprehend? Which strategies are they applying when trying to grasp the message of the texts and are they interpreting them correctly? In this presentation we will share our findings from the user tests in Buskerud County Municipality, where only 1 in 40 students were able to understand the core message in the original versions of the letters.

Netland is presenting with Anne Johanne Guldvik.

Noort, Lodewijk van (campaign leader for ‘Direct Duidelijk’ at the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Netherlands)

Lodewijk van Noort studied Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam and worked at the Dutch Reading & Writing Foundation and the Communication & City Branding Department of the municipality of The Hague.

In 2017, he received the honorable title of Dutch Ambassador Plain Language for governmental organizations. He is currently employed as campaign leader for ‘Direct Duidelijk’ at the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The campaign focuses on government organizations and aims to ensure that they all continue to communicate in plain language.

The Flemish and Dutch campaigns for plain language for governmental organisations

The Flemish campaign Heerlijk Helder (‘delightfully clear’) and the Dutch campaign Direct Duidelijk (‘immediately clear’) are two campaigns promoting plain language in government communication. The Flemish campaign aims to influence the communicative behaviour of civil servants in an effective and sustainable way. To achieve this goal, insights from behavioural sciences are used. The main goal of the Dutch campaign is to motivate governmental organizations to define an organizational policy on plain language, assess its effects and support employees to communicate clearly. 

Van Noort is presenting with Karen Deschamps, Dirk Caluwe and Dr. Thea van der Geest.

Nordrum, Jon Christian Fløysvik (Associate professor at the Institute of Public Law, University of Oslo, Norway)

Dr. Jon Christian Fløysvik Nordrum is a lawyer, cand.jur. 2004 (Tromsø), LL.M. 2005 (New York University) and ph.d. 2017 (Oslo). He is associate professor at the Institute of Public Law, Oslo, responsible for legislative studies, chairs the project on clear language in law at the faculty and chairs a Law Commission preparing a new education act.

Introduction: Plain Language for Justice and Democracy

Democracy and the justice system is built on legal language. Legal language and legal systems is the very fabric of government. To ensure a strong democracy and that justice is done, the legal and political systems must be accessible. So, what are the biggest challenges to plain legal language in political and judicial systems?

Plain language for democracy and inclusion

Language is power. Law is the language of power and control. In order to participate in society, you must be able to use and understand language. How do we create an inclusive and democratic legal system? What role does plain legal language play?

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Olmedo, Claudia Andrea Poblete (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso)

Prof. Claudia Olmedo holds a PhD in Spanish Philology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a master’s degree in Linguistics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV). She is a professor at the Faculty of Law of the PUCV. She is an adviser to the Clear Language Committee of the Chilean judicial system. She is a clear language consultant for government agencies and a Clarity representative for Chile. She is co-founder of the Chilean Network of Clear Language.

Proposal of clear legal standards for Spanish

Publications, articles and studies in the field of legal language have already given a categorical and quite universal diagnosis about the difficulty of understanding legal terms and the reasons behind it. In this chapter, we seek to move forward by defining certainguidelines necessary to provide  with a minimum standard of clarity and, therefore, facilitate understanding of readers and users of the specific and technical legal wording.

Beyond the advances of each language, today there is a task under development to provide with standards of clear language, which contemplates indicators of clarity that are applicable to more than one language. This project has already been documented - and is still ongoing - in Clarity magazine number 79. In this paper we will make a proposal of the standards for clear legal writing in Spanish language.

Olofson, Sofia (Språkkonsulterna, Sweden)

Sofia Olofsson works for Språkkonsulterna, the biggest agency of plain language consultants in Sweden. She is an appreciated lecturer and is often hired to educate professionals in plain language and web copy. Sofia has a bachelor’s degree from the Swedish language consultancy programme.

Teaching clear writing – what works?

How can you make substantial change in the way professionals communicate? How do you teach clear writing? Over the years, the agency Språkkonsulterna has developed different methods for teaching clear writing to professionals. Språkkonsulterna have used and refined these methods during countless courses and seminars, and they have seen what makes a difference. In this presentation, language consultant Sofia Olofsson shares their practices and discusses the pedagogic tools that have shown to be successful. 

Olsson, Ingrid (The Language Council of Sweden, Sweden)

Ingrid Olsson is an examined language consultant in Swedish with extensive experience working with Swedish public agencies. She works at the Language Council of Sweden (Språkrådet) as a language adviser with special responsibility for plain language in the public sector. Previously, she worked as a language adviser at the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority. Ingrid Olsson has spoken at previous Plain and Clarity conferences, such as Antwerp 2014, Dublin 2015, Wellington 2016, Graz 2017 and Montreal 2018.

Sweden - plain language Nirvana?

At Plain 2011 in Stockholm, Sweden was described as "plain language Nirvana". Is this true? What would a plain language Nirvana consist of? Is it even possible? Ingrid Olsson will guide you through the Swedish plain language work, which includes a long history, a university degree, plain language experts at the Government offices and at many other public agencies, a language act (with a plain language section) and a public agency in charge of the plain language work. Let us then discuss if Nirvana is an accurate description. Or is the thought of a plain language Nirvana rather a Utopia? 

O'Neill, John (University of Minnesota, USA)

John O'Neill is a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Duluth. His graphic design work has been awarded and published internationally by organizations such as How Magazine, Creative Quarterly, Center for Plain Language, and the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals.  

Create Inclusive Content: Why your design and language matter

Inclusivity supports communities and fosters equity among people. Yet, many organizations overlook that not every person experiences content the same way. By doing so, they build unnecessary barriers to information for people with differing abilities. This presentation addresses the principles of inclusive design and how organizations can use design and language strategies to create inclusive content experiences.

O'Neill is presenting with Deanna Lorianni.

Orderud, Grete (Head of department at the Agency of Management and eGovernment, Norway)

Grete Orderud is head of the department for digital transformation in the Agency of Management and eGovernment in Norway. 

The Norwegian case: A 10-year plain language odyssey

2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of a systematic, government supported plain language work in Norway. Among the milestones are the University of Oslo’s initiative to implement plain language principles in law education, a bachelor’s degree in plain language and a 5- year programme for plain language in the Norwegian municipalities. Together, Margrethe Kvarenes from the Language Council of Norway and Grete Orderud from the Agency of Management and eGovernment will take you through this 10-year odyssey, outlining the main pillars of the Norwegian model and looking into the crystal ball.

Orderud is presenting with Margrethe Kvarenes. 

Owen, Suzanne (Media and Communications Consultant, Australia)

Suzanne Owen has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a diploma in Marketing. She last presented at Plain Conference in 2011 in Stockholm. She is currently working as a media advisor.

Pacific Islander Workers: When communication meets understanding

How do you help Pacific Islanders adjust to working in a new country? Can small adjustments to a pay slip make a big difference to workers where English is their second language? Is a government responsible if their legal contracts bringing workers to their country cannot be understood by the workers? A six page online form is the only means of claiming back superannuation savings - is that fair when workers don't have access to computers or the internet or electricity?     

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Pedersen, Ida Marie (Product Developer & Quality Manager at Faun Pharma AS, Norway)

Ida Marie Pedersen is Cand. Scient. Human Nutrition from Copenhagen University and Sports Nutritionist from the International Olympic Committee. Pedersen currently works as Product Development Manager for Faun Pharma, a Norwegian contract manufacturer of food supplements. She is responsible for handling regulatory issues, including labelling of nutrition and health claims. Pedersen has broad and solid communication experience, from both teaching, presentation at conferences and for organisations,  pod-cast and television, and is part of the editorial staff of The Norwegian Journal of Nutrition (NTFE).

Don't mislead the consumers! How plain language motivates to follow EU regulations

Hear the story of how user tests and systematic efforts related to plain language motivated businesses to follow regulations and trust the government.

Pedersen is presenting with Margrethe Kilde Nes and Ann-Elisabeth Hammer.

Persson, Kalle (Plain Language Consultant and UX Writer at Skatteverket, Sweden)

Kalle Persson is a Plain Language Consultant and UX Writer.

Selling property – from 91% incorrect tax returns to user-friendly guide

Everyone that sells a privately owned property in Sweden needs to declare the sale in their income tax return to the Swedish Tax Agency. The rules are difficult, and 91% of tax returns for this type of tax declaration are wrong. A cross-functional team at the Swedish Tax Agency was tasked to correct this problem. The solution was service design, a content-driven method based on customer insights. The team worked within an agile framework to understand the users’ challenges and implement solutions with emphasis on plain language. 

Persson is presenting with Ingrid Herbert.

Philion, Matthew (Adjunct instructor of English, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, USA)

Matthew Philion is an attorney, published writer, and educator. He has taught composition, grammar, literature, and business and technical writing at colleges and universities in California and Minnesota. He is currently an adjunct instructor of English at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He received a Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and a master’s degree in Technical Communication from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Mr. Philion is currently developing an online college-level plain language course.

Teaching the Transition from Academic-Speak to Plain Language

This poster presentation examines the space between academic, essay-like writing and writing for the workplace. The presenters will provide real-world approaches for instruction and assessment, addressing teaching and assessment methods that encourage the use of plain language by students and foster improved understanding of its relevance and importance.

Philion is presenting with Mialisa Moline. 

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Richards, Sarah (Content Design London, Great Britain)

Sarah spent 10 years working in digital government, ending as head of content design for the UK Government Digital Service. There she created and developed content design as a discipline for GOV.UK. Sarah now runs the Content Design London, training and consulting in content strategy and content design for organizations and governments around the world.

The readability guidelines project

In July 2018, Sarah Richards was a bit fed up to see content people being asked to created style guide after style guide, which would then be argued over and largely ignored. In her time as Head of Content Design for the Government Digital Service, Sarah had their style guide tested in usability and academic research. It shows how many style guide points are usability considerations. Whilst many organisations use the GOV.UK style guide, many won't because it is 'too government-y'.

Sarah started an alpha project to see if the content community could collaborate to create a universal style guide. The alpha found that content people really just needed concrete evidence to back up their style decisions. Through beta and live, the global community worked on gathering over 120 evidence points to support style points like shorter sentences, numbers vs numerals, use of 'I' and 'we' and much, much more.

This is now the Readability Guidelines project.

Sarah will talk about some of the conversations they've had, how accessibility and inclusivity plays into readability and how you can get involved.

Richardson, Joanna (Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal, Argentina)

With a BA in Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Literature from King’s College London, in 1985, Joanna emigrated from the U.K. to Argentina.

Originally working as an English teacher and translator, since 2001 Joanna has been an instructor of plain English at Argentina’s leading law firm, Marval, O’Farrell and Mairal. In the last decade, Joanna has applied her specialization in clear communications to provide Spanish-speaking professionals with the skills they need to give effective presentations in English.

From 2012 to 2018, Joanna served on the board of PLAIN, first as co-chair of the Communications Committee, and then as President. She now serves on the Standards Working Group of the IPLF.

Plain Language Networks in Latin America: Argentina and Colombia

Argentina and Colombia have Plain Language Networks that aim to promote access to justice and social inclusion. They have made progress with limited resources. By holding plain language events, training days, setting up online courses, and writing plain language manuals, they have spread the word about plain language in their countries. This panel will talk about how they set up the networks, what they have achieved so far and what they aim to achieve in the future. Panelists will give examples of how they work in interdisciplinary teams to promote plain language.

Richardson is presenting with Mariana Bozetti and Germán Arias.

Plain Language in Presentations: Concise, Effective and Clear

Joanna has extended her plain language training to clear communications in general, both written and spoken: this talk highlights the techniques she uses when training Spanish-speaking professionals to give presentations in plain English. Learning how to give a clear, concise, effective message in work presentations, particularly when speaking in a second language, can be a liberating experience. Professionals who realize that they can give a presentation without resorting to long-winded explanations and jargon often go on to become firm fans of plain language!  

Rognan, Andrea Othilie (Content designer at Sopra Steria, Norway)

Andrea Othilie Rognan is a content designer currently doing conversational design for chatbots and smart assistants. She has developed content and conversational user interfaces for governmental institutions like the Norwegian Customs, the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Innovation Norway and Kværner ASA.
Her background is from copywriting, copyediting, and science communication, before she ended up in design. Andrea has a master’s degree in modern rhetoric, where she studied conversational analysis, sociolinguistics, plain language and science communication. This is something she has included in her work with conversational interfaces – in search of a more human and conversational way of communicating through machines.

The robots are here – how to combine plain language and conversational design

We are supposed to talk more with our machines. Chatbots and smart assistants promise human conversations that make everyday life even easier. They are intended to be intuitive, delightful, and efficient. Many are not.

Conversational design is a new design discipline. We base it on plain language, user experience design, and what we know about human conversations from sociolinguistics. Conversational design defines how we work with language and content in all interfaces, including chatbots and smart assistants.

In the past year, we have developed some theories about what creates good conversations between humans and machines. We have also been allowed to test these theories – and experienced how new technology can create both great opportunities and serious pitfalls for communication.

In this talk, I go through what conversational design is, how we work, and examples of what can go wrong through poor conversational design.

Romano, Francesco (Researcher at Italian National Research Council - Institute of Legal informatics and judicial systems)

Francesco Romano has a degree in Law and holds a Ph.D. in Telematic and Information Society from the University of Florence. Since 1997 he collaborates with the Institute of Legal Informatics and judicial system (IGSG) where now he works as a researcher.

Creating a user-oriented glossary of public administration terms for migrants living in Italy: scope and methodology

The operational objective of the activity that will be presented through the poster is to create a simplified glossary of public administration terms to facilitate the understanding of administrative procedures for third-country citizens resident in Italy.

The glossary definitions are made following the rules of plain language, but we also want to build them in a way that reflects the mind map and the real needs of the intended users: migrants who have to extricate themselves from the complex Italian bureaucracy. To achieve this, we have directly involved them in our research.

Romano will be speaking with Chiara Fioravanti. 

Rondeau, Guillaume (Coach at Educaloi, Canada)

Guillaume coaches Éducaloi’s team of legal plain language specialists (Montreal, Canada) and ensures their skills are up to date. He fosters strategic thinking and improved work practices, while ensuring that the team explains the law in everyday language. Guillaume also helps public and private organizations simplify their legal communications. He trains and gives conferences to legal professionals and the public. Being a good communicator, he often explains the law in the media.

Legal Communications within the Matrix – Which Reality Do You Want to Perceive?

To create clear legal information tools, non-jurists must often work with legal professionals. These exchanges can be quite destabilizing, even unsettling for both parties. Why? In the end, it may come down to perceptions. Legal professionals have a rather unique vision of the world. They come to perceive another reality – that of the law. Their expertise largely depends on this, but this creates difficulties in working with non-jurists. This workshop will explore how both parties can better understand each other and work together more efficiently to produce clear legal information. 

Rondeau is presenting with Sarah Dougherty.

Rønn, Lars (Communications advisor at the Norwegian Tax Administration, Norway)

Lars Rønn is a communications advisor and specializes in user approach and digitization. He has extensive experience in developing concepts and specifying functionality and developing content in digital channels.

Language in digital service development - "Am I a commuter?"

www.skatteetaten.no has won several awards for user-friendliness and a thorough justification is the methodology. The Tax Administration is based on the users' need to then process the information so that receiving heavy and complex information becomes easy to understand. The presentation shows the highlights of making the “Commuter-guide” and “travel deduction calculator”, which resulted in, among other things, 40% fewer appeals for unclaimed deductions. 

Rösare, Sara (Språkkonsulterna, Sweden)

Sara Rösare is from Språkkonsulterna, the biggest agency of plain language consultants in Sweden. She has a bachelor’s degree from the Swedish language consultancy program and works with plain language in a variety of ways: writing and editing, training and coaching. Sara is also the main author of Uppdrag textgranskning (Mission: Revision).

Accessible digital self-services? Collaborate for the user!

In this session, Sara Rösare shares her UX writer experiences in a project in the Swedish Board of Student Finance, a government authority. The main aim of the project was to make the digital self-services more accessible – that is, to create a better user experience (UX) for everyone. The authority needs to comply with the EU directive on web accessibility, and functional self-services are crucial for the efficiency of the organization. You will hear about achievements and challenges, and about the creative collaboration with web developers, designers and other UX professionals.

Ryssevik, Jostein (Managing director of ideas2evidence)

Jostein Ryssevik is managing director of ideas2evidence, a Norwegian research company located in Bergen and Oslo. He is a political scientist specializing in research design, statistical indicators and quantitative analysis. He was responsible for the evaluation of the Norwegian governments clear speech projects and has been involved in the development of a clear speech toolbox for local government.

Measure effects in a wink

In this workshop, you will try a method made to measure the effects of textual changes in three simple steps. A graphical overview lets you identify the problems of the text according to its users.

Ryssevik is presenting with Heidi Bunæs Eklund.

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Sabanés, Laia Vidal (PhD candidate and research fellow at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain)

Laia Vidal Sabanés is a PhD candidate and research fellow, member of the IULATERM research group (Lexicon and Technology) at IULA (Institut for Applied Linguistics, specific research centre), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). She has a master’s degree in theoretical and applied linguistics from UPF and is graduated in Translation and Interpretation at UPF. At IULA she is also the tutor of the online master in terminology. Furthermore, she lectures on terminology at the Department of Translation and Language Sciences (UPF). She also teaches language of health sciences at the Bonanova Institute of Professional Training at the Parc de Salut Mar.

Understanding medical information: A challenge for breast cancer patients

Patients’ understanding of their condition is of utter importance, especially in complex diseases such as breast cancer. Many studies have reported additional anguish to the medical condition of patients who failed to understand the meaning of health information. Lexical problems - and especially terminology - represent a major burden towards the understanding of medical information. In this study, we report on the needs of patients affected by breast cancer as regards their understanding of diagnosis and treatment information. One of the primary results of this inquiry was defining criteria as regards the terminology to be used and its representation as to effectively convey information to the patients.

Samuelsberg, Ragnhild Irene (The Ministry of Children and Equality, Norway)

Ragnhild Samuelsberg has been a professional communicator for more than 40 years. She has been an actor in theater, a journalist leading a TV program in the Norwegian Broadcasting Television, and head of communication in three different organizations: Directorate of Labor, The National Theatre and The Norwegian Ministry of Children and Equality. 

She will highlight varied experiences from her work with plain language and clear laws. She asks: Is our work sustainable? One of the huge challenges is the language in the regulations from the European Union.

Fight the fog in the EU legislation!

PLAIN, Clarity and EU members must take steps to promote plain language in the EU legislation.

Why do we have to inherit the fog in legalese from EU? We know that plain language ​​has been on the EU agenda for many years, but the work done to establish plain language principles and guides does not seem to have borne fruit. EU rules are increasingly promulgated as regulations to ensure that the rules are the same from country to country. Regulations are to be implemented “as such”. The wording of directives and regulations is often quite inaccessible. The texts are detailed and contain many provisos. They are also very extensive. So why do we have to close our eyes to the very fact that our successful plain language work in laws in Norway are now threatened by the EU fog?  

Samuelsberg is presenting with Sissel Motzfeldt. 

Schindler, Thomas (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH, Germany)

Dr. Thomas Schindler is the group leader medical writing at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma. He has a PhD in molecular physiology, and has had a long-term interest in plain language.

The challenge of writing medical texts in plain language - the problem of oversimplification

Everybody should have a chance to know how new medicines come about. Medical progress depends on clinical studies. However, the available information is complex. The results of clinical studies can often only be understood by experts. The EU requires that all clinical studies are summarized for lay people in a new document called lay summary. If you are interested in the challenges and solutions of lay summaries - come to our presentation. 

Dr. Schindler is presenting with Dr. Clive Brown.

Sjöström, Hanna Sjöström (Trygg-Hansa, Customer communication and Claims, Sweden)

Hanna Sjöström has a bachleors degree in communications and professional Swedish from Uppsala University. After working as a plain language consultant for a few years, she became a UX writer and customer communication specialist at Swedish insurance company Trygg-Hansa.

"Oh sh*t, digitalization means we need flawless written communication"

Come see the travel journal from when one of Sweden's main insurance companies set sail, from a land of oral dialogue, to a new world of written communication with its customers. I'll focus our first big case: a total makeover of the customer journey for people involved in car accidents. I'll share how we chose to do it, what we learned, and why digitalization is a communication project as much as an IT project. 

Slabbert, Sarah (Plain Language Institute, South Africa)

Dr. Sarah Slabbert (PhD, University of the Witwatersrand) is the MD of BHI 32 (Pty) Ltd, a development communication consultancy that specialises in communication strategy and design, and strategic research. The consultancy works mainly in the water sector.

Sarah's academic work in sociolinguistics and experience with communication and education in the public sector have given her insight into the way that ordinary South Africans make sense of complex information. She established the Plain Language Institute CC in December 2009 to build on this experience.

 

Bridging the gap between researchers and respondents: Plain language for data integrity

The presentation will discuss a specialised pilot that was conducted in 2018 for the i2i Facility of the FinMark Trust. SMS surveys were a new terrain for financial inclusion research and the pilot had to confirm that respondents understand the questions as intended. The research method was based on cognitive interviewing methods, but it incorporated the insights and methods of action research, plain language, and reading strategies for foreign language learners. The methodology was called cognitive action research. 

Without the intervention of the specialised pilot, the data integrity of the survey would have been compromised. The findings demonstrated the application potential of cognitive action research to bridge the gap between researchers and respondents in the quest for data integrity.

Dr. Slabbert is presenting with Iske Van den Berg.

Smith, Christine (Founder and Chief Clarity Agent at Clearspace, New Zealand)

Christine Smith is Founder and Chief Clarity Agent at Clearspace. She advocates for plain language with New Zealand’s political and business leaders. Driven to make the complex simple, Christine helps law firms, corporates, and government agencies to write clear, modern, on-brand communications.

Integrated Reporting: an opportunity for plain language practitioners to drive change

What if a company’s annual report was something people looked forward to reading?  An integrated report tells a compelling story that communicates clearly and builds trust with a wide audience. It demands a high level of transparency about how a company creates value - a concept that many business leaders find challenging. Christine Smith will share her experiences of working alongside chief executives, accountants, and lawyers to breathe life into annual reports. Hear tips on how to manage the writing process so that everyone makes it to the finish line - with a great result. 

Transparent government: The New Zealand Labour Party’s modern approach to communication

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has earned international recognition for her values-based leadership. From a small corner of the world, a powerful voice has emerged to inspire global change.  Leading up to the 2017 election, Ardern’s Labour Party prioritised transparency in how it communicated with constituents.  Christine Smith helped to craft the party’s Policy Platform. In this session, she will share her insights into how a political party is getting results by telling it like it is. 

Sobyra, Angie (Internal Communications Manager at Wesley Mission Queensland, Australia)

Dr. Angie Sobyra is Internal Communications Manager at Wesley Mission Queensland where she has been leading a plain language project with the aim of simplifying the workplace. The project involves evaluating and editing workplace materials as well as training employees. She has been working in language education for over 15 years and has a PhD in pragmatics from Queensland University of Technology.

Simplifying the workplace - Clear communication in an Australian not-for-profit

The session will include practical tools and lessons learned to achieve a better employee experience. We’ll share how we’ve engaged our subject matter experts to use plain English when writing policies and procedures. We’ll also explore how we’ve used information design, workflow and game-based workshops to produce clearer communication.

Dr. Sobyra is presenting with Leesa Taylor. 

Sparano, Romina Marazzato (Language Compass, USA)

Romina is a translator, editor, and educator with 20 years of experience in technical, medical, and creative materials for variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies. She trains writers and specialists, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on writing, translation, technology, localization, and Spanish. She designed and launched the MA in Translation/Localization Management Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She volunteers in leadership roles at professional associations such as The Institute for Localization Professionals, the American Translators Associations, and the Spanish Editors Association. Her research interests include plain language, US Spanish, and writing instruction.

Plain Language 2.0 and Health Literacy: New Strategies for Better Outcomes

Health literacy is the ability to find, understand, and process information to make healthcare decisions. It requires communication among patients, providers, and caregivers, often in distressing or time-sensitive situations. Plain language has a vital role to play in aligning audiences, providers, and situations to produce better health outcomes. In this session, we will explore clarity through textuality - how cohesion and coherence make text more than a collection of random sentences - and adequacy - how the communication situation informs the suitability of the text. 

Spivey, Katherine (Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN), USA)

Katherine Spivey co-chairs the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN), a federal volunteer interagency working group. She is a PLAIN senior trainer, and frequently trains for Digital Gov University. She serves as the General Services Administration's Plain Language Launcher. In 2015, she was a NextGen Public Service Award Finalist (NextGen 30) for Exemplary Leadership. At GSA, she manages web content, coordinates social media, and edits the Great Government through Technology blog.

Do We Make the Grade for Clear Communications and Clear Results? Two US PL Organizations and the Federal Report Card

How do we measure compliance with the U.S. law, the Plain Writing Act? How do we tell if federal agencies are enforcing plain language? Hear how two U.S. organizations - the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) and the Center for Plain Language - address the issue. Every year, the Center issues the Federal Report Card that grades certain federal agencies. PLAIN's approach is more of a carrot offering free training and a supportive community of practice. Hear how we work together to encourage plain language in the U.S. federal government and how we address our challenges.

Spivey is presenting with Dr. David Lipscomb.

Stephens, Cheryl (Simon Fraser University, Canada)

Cheryl Stephens is a leading, international expert in plain language who teaches editing and plain language topics. She co-founded the Plain Language Association International and has been writing, speaking, and teaching about plain language for 30 years. Cheryl applies creativity, innovation, and humor in training programs and curriculum design. 

Let’s Teach Convergent Concepts for Clear Communication

Successful public communication depends upon achieving a balance between effective and efficient information processing in the recipient. We borrow from other fields to teach writers how to do that. You can incorporate parallel concepts from other communication and academic fields to provide a stronger basis than mere stylistic guidelines. This session will explore how to connect plain language concepts with those used in other fields of study. This exploration covers concepts from composition, editing, linguistics, other language studies, psychology and neuroscience. 

Stephens is presenting with Nicole Watkins Campbell.

Sterner, Marianne (Riksbanken, the Swedish central bank, Sweden)

Marianne Sterner is a plain language consultant at Sveriges Riksbank, the Swedish central bank, where she has worked for thirteen years. Previously, she worked as a freelance plain language consultant and has 35 years of experience in the field, mainly in the public sector. She holds a BA in Swedish and French and has been awarded the Swedish clear language prize, once together with Sveriges Riksbank and once with the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning.

The Riksbank teaches its employees to use layered communication

How do you control your information flow and your story in today’s verbose media and communication environment? The Riksbank uses layered communication to solve the problem. Plain language is not just about adapting the language in a text to the target group and channel; often the message needs to be adapted as well. Making the message available at different levels gives you the opportunity to engage your readers at the level they prefer – from simple basic facts to detailed and thorough analysis. 

Stotko, Irene (Alexander Forbes Financial Services, South Africa)

Irene is an enthusiastic proponent of plain language and a long-standing member of the Professional Editors’ Guild (PEG) in South Africa. She works as a senior editor at Alexander Forbes Financial Services in Johannesburg and holds a master’s degree in translation from Wits university.

She enjoys being part of a creative team of writers and designers to make the “complicated simple, awesomely simple” (Charles Mingus). Passionate about shaping clear communication in financial services, she presented “Decluttering Communication: Plain Speaking, Plain Writing in 2017” and hosted “What’s Trending in Plain Language?” in 2018. Her dream is for South Africa to host a PLAIN conference.

Using plain language to help more South Africans save for their retirement

The retirement fund sector is renowned for jargon and product complexity. Irene draws on two Japanese concepts to show how the marketing and communications team at the largest pension fund administrator in South Africa are decluttering retirement fund communication to help more South Africans make better decisions about retirement savings. 

Sutorius, Steffen (Director of the Agency of Management and eGovernment )

Steffen Sutorius is an economist from the Norwegian school of economics. He has been a director of the Agency of Management and eGovernment since 2016. 

Conference opening speech

Together, Margrethe Kvarenes, President of PLAIN, Steffen Sutorius, director of the Agency of Management and eGovernment and Åse Wetås, director of the Language Council of Norway will open the conference. 

Sørfjord, Linda (Senior advisor at the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, Norway)

Linda Sørfjord is a senior advisor at Utdanningsdirektoratet.

Plain language is not the last leg in a relay

Norway is in the process of renewing the curricula for all the subjects in primary and secondary school. The new curricula shall help pupils develop competences they need in the future. An important success factor is that the curricula are easy to understand for all who is going to use them. Clear language is therefore important. We have to keep clear language in mind during the entire process - it is not something we will "fix" in the end. To succeed in making curricula that everybody can understand and relate to, we work simultaneously with: - The actual content, - plain language, - user interface. 

Sørfjord is presenting with Kjersti Mikalsen. 
 

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Taylor, Leesa (Australian Institute of Business, Australia)

Leesa Taylor has 25 years of experience as a senior manager within the charitable sector in Australia. The last 19 years has been at an organisation called Wesley Mission Queensland (WMQ) as the Director of Corporate Services. The organisation provides a number of services for some of the most disadvantaged people in Queensland. They have a turnover of AUD$200million and have 3000 employees, so it would be considered a large charity in Australia.  

Taylor is currently a full-time student completing her Doctor of Business Administration, with the research/thesis being on ‘Organizational support for grieving employees in Australia’. She also has an MBA with a specialization in Human Resource Management. She is member of the Institute of Public Accountants (MIPA) and also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

 

Simplifying the workplace - Clear communication in an Australian not-for-profit

The session will include practical tools and lessons learned to achieve a better employee experience. We’ll share how we’ve engaged our subject matter experts to use plain English when writing policies and procedures. We’ll also explore how we’ve used information design, workflow and game-based workshops to produce clearer communication.

Taylor is presenting with Dr. Angie Sobyra. 

Thorén, Eva (Deputy Director, Prime Minister’s Office, Sweden)

Eva Thorén is Deputy Director and one of four language experts at the Secretariat for Legal and Linguistic Draft Revision at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Plain language to implement politics

Plain language is important to make regulations and decisions clear for the intended reader. It’s also an important tool in the legislative process itself to gain support for the pro­posal during various stages of the working process. The presentation will be about plain language methods used by a ministry in the Swedish Government Offices and supported by the Secretariat for Legal and Linguistic Draft Revision at the Prime Minister’s Office, with the common goal of reaching out with governmental politics.

Thorén is presenting with Eva Lenberg.

Toftøy-Andersen, Eli (Sopra Steria, Norway)

Eli Toftøy-Andersen is an experienced design manager, interaction designer and plain language expert. She has co-written a book on usability testing and conducted a number of such tests over the last 15 years. Eli has improved webpages regarding value added tax, letters in the public sectors and forms for small businesses. Eli is a usability test enthusiast and has built a usability test lab at Sopra Steria where she works. She is convinced that meeting the people who interact with your texts face to face can give very valuable insights to the writing and design process.

Usability testing for writers

Your goal is to write as clear as possible. How can you be sure that your message really comes across as intended? Usability testing is one of the best ways to check this. Meeting people you are writing for in person and observing them while they struggle with your text can give you a lot of “eureka” moments. In this presentation you will get examples of best practices and lessons learned from usability testing text, content and functionality. You will hear about the dos and don’ts, and you will leave the presentation wondering why this practice is not more common among writers.  

Toijanniemi, Outi (Language expert at the Finnish Tax Administration, Finland)

Outi Toijanniemi (MA, M.Soc.Sc) is a Finnish language expert and comms specialist. She is specialized in writing for the web and has experience from both the private and the public sector. Outi is continuously challenging everyone to find more simple ways to express complicated issues. When working with writers, she always keeps the reader first in mind.

Helping the taxpayer act right - the language professional's role in fighting the fog in organisational communication

The Finnish Tax Administration's overall goal is to make it easy for taxpayers to pay and manage their taxes. Therefore, the focus is on the taxpayer's point of view and clear and easy-to-understand guidance and e-services. A Finnish language expert's role is no longer to spot grammar mistakes, but to co-write texts together with tax experts, customer service experts and e-service providers, and to take part in projects as a language consultant. Published texts are continuously improved based on data from user tests and a number of feedback channels.  

Toijanniemi is presenting with Reeta Tolonen. 

Tolonen, Reeta (Language expert at the Finnish Tax Administration, Finland)

Reeta Tolonen has a master’s degree in Finnish. With nearly 20 years’ experience as a communications specialist and Finnish language expert at the Finnish Tax Administration, she never gets tired of discussing language and tax issues with tax experts. Among her special fields of expertise are web texts and the language of legislation.

 

Helping the taxpayer act right—the language professional's role in fighting the fog in organisational communication

The Finnish Tax Administration's overall goal is to make it easy for taxpayers to pay and manage their taxes. Therefore, the focus is on the taxpayer's point of view and clear and easy-to-understand guidance and e-services. A Finnish language expert's role is no longer to spot grammar mistakes, but to co-write texts together with tax experts, customer service experts and e-service providers, and to take part in projects as a language consultant. Published texts are continuously improved based on data from user tests and a number of feedback channels.  

Tolonen is presenting with Outi Toijanniemi.

Torro, Natalia (Professional legal and financial translator, Argentina)

Natalia is a professional legal and financial translator from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has a bachelor’s degree in Legal Translation and just submitted her master’s thesis. At university, she questioned the complexity of legal language. Her teachers told her not to ("That's the way it is", they said). A few years after graduating, she decided to write her thesis on plain language and translation and she is looking forward to putting her skills to good use.

Plain Language and Translation: how to avoid the drowsy effect of privacy policies

Facts: - No one reads privacy policies. - Personal data is a valuable asset for companies and governments. - A survey conducted by SimplicityLabTM in 2012 concluded that "knowing more about privacy makes users share less with Facebook and Google". So why don't we read privacy policies? Would it help if they were written in plain language? My research deals with the use intralinguistic translation (paraphrasing) to foster clear and transparent communication of privacy policies. Communication must be concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible.   

Truhačev, Nika (European Commission, Belgium)

Nika Truhačev coordinates the European Commission-wide clear writing campaign that encourages drafters in the Commission to write texts that are correct, concise and use plain language. She organises an extensive programme of conferences, seminars and workshops to raise awareness about writing clearly and help bring about a change in drafting culture at the Commission. Nika holds an MA in Political Science and an MBA. She joined the European Commission in 2007 and has since worked in a number of roles in the Directorate-General for Translation.

Running a clear writing campaign - experience from the European Commission

It’s true, the European Commission doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to readable, clear communication…but things are changing! For the past 10 years the clear writing campaign has been helping to improve the Commission's drafting culture, moving away from eurojargon to produce clear texts the public can understand. This interactive workshop will look at what has worked for us (and what hasn't) and, by sharing experiences, will help you develop your own clear writing initiatives. 

Truhačev is presenting with Rosie ter Beek. 

Tønnesson, Johan L. (Department of Linguistic and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo, Norway)

Prof. Johan L. Tønnesson is a former people college teacher, violin teacher, information officer and project director, and editor of the popular science magazine Apollon. Since 2005, he has been a professor in "sakprosa" (factual prose). Coordinator for the Rhetoric programme and the new BA programme in plain language at the University of Oslo from 2019.

Pre-conference opening speech

Together, Margrethe Kvarenes, President of PLAIN and Prof. Johan Tønnesson, University of Oslo, Norway will open the pre-conference. 

The Poetic Functions of Plain Language

Factual prose (in English usually named "non-fiction" or "journalism") is most often regarded as something non-poetic, monophonic and unambiguous. But is there no room for the poetic function of language (Roman Jacobson) in effective, factual communication? 

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 Walstad, Kristin Høie (Stavanger municipality, Norway)

Kristin has a cand.philol. graduate degree in German and Nordic languages. She has experience as a teacher and from the oil and shipping industries, and she now works as a special adviser in Stavanger municipality’s communications department. Kristin has led the municipality’s work on plain language since it began in 2011, and in 2015 she was awarded the Language Council of Norway’s annual prize for trailblazers in the field of plain language. The following year Stavanger municipality won the prize for plain language in the public sector.

Ambiguous language in municipalities’ decision-making documents – a local democracy problem

What characterizes the language in decision-making documents in a norwegian municipality? Why is the wording as it is? What may the consequences of ambigious language in these texts be? Hear how Stavanger Municipality has worked on these issues.

Walstad is presenting with Vidar Lynghammar.

Wetås, Åse (Director of the Language Council of Norway)

Dr. Åse Wetås is director of the Language Council of Norway – one of your PLAIN 2019 host organizations. The Language Council is the Norwegian state's consultative body on language issues. Wetås is a prominent linguist and lexicographer. She was director of one of Norway’s most extensive research projects of all times – the Norwegian dictionary “Norsk Ordbok” featuring 330,000 words. 

Conference opening speech

Together, Margrethe Kvarenes, President of PLAIN, Steffen Sutorius, director of the Agency of Management and eGovernment and Åse Wetås, director of the Language Council of Norway will open the conference.

Wiegard, Beate (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, Germany)

Beate Wiegard, MA, studied English linguistics, literature and economics at the RWTH Aachen University (D) and the University of Wales, Cardiff (GB). She focused on applied linguistics and has been interested in language and power ever since. After finishing her studies, she worked in various areas of health communication, for example in public relations consulting, publishing and press relations. She turned to editing evidence-based health information in 2009, focusing on plain language and hard-to-reach groups.

More than just facts: How can evidence-based health information be better tailored to the needs of socially disadvantaged people?

Evidence-based health information describes diseases, treatment options, and the pros and cons of the different options. It aims to be as plain and concise as possible. But even then, it is not necessarily possible to gain access to everybody. Especially socially disadvantaged people are often hard to reach. There are various factors that can impede their understanding: access, the look and feel of information, but also certain attitudes and mindsets. Could it be helpful to address these mindsets - to develop messages to try to improve self-esteem and self-efficacy, for instance? 

Willumsen, Anniken (Senior adviser at the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi), Norway)

Anniken Willumsen works as a senior adviser at the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi). She has been working with plain language since 2009, and 2011-2017 she was the manager for the project “Plain Language in Norway’s Civil Service”. Every year several activities were initiated, and in 2015-16, Anniken was manager for developing an e-learning course in plain language, called “Den gylne pennen”.
Today Anniken works with innovation in the public sector and manages a national programme, which aims to stimulate public sector to integrate service design methods in their work. She has a master’s degree in media science and has many years of experience as a communication adviser in both central and regional government in Norway, as well as from the organizational field. Anniken is an experienced project manager and her skills combine digital work, e-learning, strategy work, lecturing, consulting, project management and communications work.

eLearning "Den gylne pennen": Teaching plain language skills in a pedagogic and effective way, using digital tools

When Difi and Språkrådet launched the eLearning course "Den gylne pennen", it was an immediate success. How could an eLearning course in plain language become the most popular eLearning course in Norways civil service? The key was to develop the course in cooperation with the target group. In this session I will present how we worked with collecting user insights, including which topics we should include in the course, and the pedagogic methods and tools we chose. I will also present how we have worked with combining this online course with other plain language activities (blended learning). 

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Zandberg-Malec, Justyna (Wardyński & Partners, Poland)

Justyna Zandberg-Malec is a language specialist at Wardyński & Partners. As far as she knows it is the only law firm in Poland that employs a person at such a position. She is also the managing editor of “In Principle” (inprinciple.pl), a portal about law - for business, but not only. Before that she was a movie translator and editor. Translating subtitles taught her to write concisely (with a strict character limit). She is a biochemist by education but has never worked in that field.

Plain language in a law firm: Can it work?

What happens when a movie translator ("the simpler, the better") joins a law firm ("the more sophisticated, the better")? A story about gaining trust and mutual benefits. 

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Øgar, Petter (the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, Norway) 

Petter Øgar (1953) is a physician and civil servant whose career stretches from county physician to acting director of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision. From 2010 Øgar has worked as Director General at the Ministry of Health and Care Services, Department of Municipal Health Care Services.

A Norwegian Strategy to increase Health Literacy in the Population

On the 9th of May this year the Minister of Health launched a Norwegian strategy to increase health literacy in the population. The most important element of the strategy is to establish an official Norwegian name for health literacy that would be generally accepted. Without such a name, systematic work and increased emphasis on health literacy will be very difficult to achieve.

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