Clear communication

A Plain Plan (2002)

In the fall of 2002, Merwan Saher and his team launched a project to further improve their annual report. He will describe how they got the needed support from management, ensured that auditors retained control of their writing, and provided needed resources. “Changing the way you communicate,” says Merwan, “will change the way you do your work'.

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2003-03-14

The Road to Recovery Project (2002)

Carolyn described a project called Home Care after a Heart Attack, for which her company was asked to design some forms. What evolved was something much more than a few forms. She shared the story of how the project won Best of Show in a Society for Technical Communication competition.

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2003-03-14

Assessing the Complexity of Literacy Tasks: A guide to analysis with examples and exercises (2002)

Michel presented a new tool called “Assessing the Complexity of Literacy Tasks.” It is designed to help document designers understand the ability levels of readers as defined in the International Adult Literacy Survey. This complexity-rating tool, based on the work of Irwin Kirsh and Peter Mosenthal, can help information designers ensure that the level of complexity of public information matches the literacy level of the target readers.

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2003-03-06

The Progress of Plain Language in the US: A federal perspective (2002)

Joanne reported on progress made since PLAIN's Houston Conference by the agencies that are still active members of the U.S. Plain English Network. She commented on what the change in the Administration has meant and described recent projects in the FDA as well as the Department of Health and Human Services. Joanne also looked at how the events following September 11 underscored the importance of clear communication in public health.

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2003-02-27

Plain Language in Sweden: a Progress Report (2002)

Bengt and Maria talked about the successful European Law Conference held during Sweden's presidency of the Union and their attempts to move the European Union away from a traditional, bureaucratic way of writing legislation. They also described a new tool developed by a linguist to evaluate the comprehensibility of communications from the Swedish public authorities. They presented the results of that evaluation and of other projects.

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2003-02-25

What Adult Literacy Learners Would Like YOU To Know (N.D.)

This is a link to a website outlining what adult literacy learners would like the public to know. It includes links to literacy coalitions across Canada, as well as a link to the Learners Advisory Network website.

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2003-02-03

The Plain Web (2002)

The Web is a vast library filled with writing that is often as far from plain language as it is possible to get. Chuck's talk focussed on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that relate to plain language. Governments and commercial organizations around the world are adopting W3C standards as law or policy. Chuck hopes to get more plain language professionals involved in the work of the W3C.

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2002-01-01

Plain Language in the Global Village (2002)

The rules of plain language, says Stephen, may have been written only for a domestic audience. In this talk, he demonstrated how and why the style must be modified when editing for international or multicultural markets. One culture's plainness, for example, may be another culture's rudeness.

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2002-01-01

On the 'Bridge' and in the 'White Space': What to do between sessions (2002)

Michelle told delegates about the conference activities she had organized around the concepts of bridges and white space. Bridges are structures that help people and things connect. On the bridge or walkway area of the hotel, we brought the work of our international community together in displays of plain language resources and examples.

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2002-01-01

A Brief History of Plain Language (2002)

Although we often think of George Orwell's classic essay on the politics of language as the starting place for the plain language movement, we are part of a tradition of advocacy for grace, simplicity, and equity in communication that goes back to Chaucer and beyond him, to the hybrid beginnings of the English language. Sally's short historical tour honoured the work of the plain language pioneers in our midst.

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2002-01-01

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