The Conference Programme

Welcome session in Dublin Castle

16:00 – 19:00 Conference registration
19:00 – 19:20 Welcome from Deborah Bosley, President of PLAIN and Inez Bailey,
——————-Director of the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA)
19:20 – 20:00 Drinks reception

There will be 45-minute walking tours of Dublin at 5pm, 6pm and 8pm.
Tours led by: Jess Fahy, Art Historian.

Friday 18: Clearer language, greater efficiency and effectiveness

08:00 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 10:30 Plain language and citizens
———————Welcome and introduction
———————Deborah Bosley, President of PLAIN and Principal of the Plain Language Group
———————Plain language, citizens and the European Ombudsman
———————Emily O’Reilly, European Ombudsman
——————— Clear health information is the best remedy
———————Dr Richard Murray, Deputy Chief Medical Office, MSD (known as Merck & Co. Inc. in the US and Canada)
10:30 – 10:45 Networking break
10:45 – 11:30 Plenary panel: Testing 1, 2, 3…: An integrated model for evaluating plain language
———————Moderators:Neil James, Executive Director of the Plain Language Foundation, Australia, Susan Kleimann,
———————Kleimann Communication Group and others

———————Panelists: Lynda Harris, Chief Executive, Write Limited, and others
11:30 – 12:30 Concurrent sessions (choose one)
12:30 – 13:45 Lunch
13:45 – 14:45 Concurrent sessions (choose one)
14:45 – 15:45 Concurrent sessions (choose one)
15:45 – 16:00 Networking break
16:00 – 17:00 Contribution of plain language to efficiency and effectiveness: An around the world perspective Various contributors including Annetta Cheek, USA, Neil James, Australia, David Feeney, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Ireland, and others…

20:00 Gala dinner and awards ceremony. Old Jameson Distillery.

Please find details of Friday’s concurrent session below.

11:30 – 12:30

1. Advocating for plain legal language:
Reconciling the need for legal accuracy with a commitment to plain language.
Stephen James, Legal Writer and Editor at the Victorian Law Foundation, Melbourne.
The case for plain language.
Professor Joe Kimble. WMU–Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan, USA

2. Training best practices:
New tools – new possibilities? The search for best practice in clear language.
Aud-Solvi Botn, Senior Advisor Agency of Public Management and egovernment, Norway.
Advanced online training design to teach plain language writing skills.
Marie Antaya, Director Eclectic Communications, Canada.

3. Evaluating clarity:
Promoting access to information in citizen language: The Chilean experience of the Council for Transparency.
Christian Anker, Head of Unit, Council for Transparency, Chile.
Does [best] practice make perfect? Plain language perseverance at a small Swedish agency.
Anki Mattson, Språkkonsulterna, Sweden.

4. Best practices in plain language and adult literacy
Plain language in the Spanish-speaking world: Bringing transparency to private and public sectors.
Mariana Bozetti (Argentina), Claudia Poblete Olmedo (Chile), Joanna Richardson (Argentina), Estrella Montolío and María Such (Spain)

5. Health:
Why patients still can’t get clear information about their medicines.
Karel van der Waarde, Design and research consultant, Belgium.
Medication – consequences of not communicating clearly about medications at discharge from hospital and in the community pharmacy.
Dr Laura Sahm, Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, University College Cork, Ireland.

13:45 – 14:45

1. Best practices in legal writing for lay audiences:
Decision writing for the Local Government Ombudsman (UK).
Daphne Perry, ClarifyNow.
Developing plain legal documents in a traditional legal environment.
Tialda Sikkema, Department of Law, Utrecht, Netherlands.

2. Case studies: Clear Language in Public Digital Service
Communicating clearly to Irish citizens using our website: a case study from an Irish Government Agency.
Niamh Buckley, Digital Communications Project Manager, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Ireland) and Fergal McGovern (Independent Consultant).
Clear language in Norwegian public digital services.
Oda Stræte, Language Council of Norway, and Ragnar Brevik, Difi.

3. Translation / Legal, consumer:
Clear communication in corporate and financial translation.
Nikki Meyer Circa Consulting & Communication, France.
Using online glossaries and focus groups to improve plain English and companion translations.
Maria Mindlin, Transcend, Language Specialist & CEO, USA.

4. Evaluating clarity:
Clear, concise, and effective user testing: User testing financial documents in a new regulatory environment.
Anne-Marie Chisnall, Manager, Professional Services Team, and Helen Wise, plain language specialist, Write Limited, New Zealand.

5. Evaluating clarity:
Formal, yet friendly: evaluating the tone of plain language.
Greg Moriarty, Training Executive, Plain English Foundation, Australia.

14:45 – 15:45

1. Best practice:
Best practice guidelines on online community and legal information.
Joh Kirby, Head of Clarity and Executive Director, Victoria Law Foundation, Australia.

2. Social media:
Zombie funktuation: Little-used punctuation marks brought back from the dead by social media.
Berna Cox, Freelance journalist, plain English editor and trainer, Ireland.
Plain language and social media.
Helena Englund Hjalmarrson, Partner and CEO at the Plain Language agency Språkkonsulterna, Sweden.

3. Best practice:
Teaching plain language in groups – administrators and lawyers alike.
Annasara Jaensson, Språkkonsulterna, Sweden.

4. Case studies in consumer protection:
Foxed and fined: How unclear contractual parking signs bamboozle motorists.
Martin Cutts. Research Commission, Plain Language Commission, UK.
Welcome to the financial mainstream? The hazards facing low-income people when navigating the financial world.
Sally McBeth, Manager, Clear Language Design.

5. Becoming a plain language organisation:
Getting the right people around the right table: Ensuring success in a clear communication project.
Karel van der Waarde and Robert Linsky.
Lean for efficient communication – making communication both profitable and sustainable.
Susanne Blomkvist, Plain language consultant, Sweden


Ireland’s Plain English Awards and the Christine Mowat Plain Language Achievement Award will be held at the gala dinner in Jameson Distillery.

Saturday 19: Clearer language, greater efficiency and effectiveness

08:00 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 10:30 Welcome Inez Bailey, Director of NALA
——————-How style guides can contribute to clear and consistent writing
——————-David Marsh, Production Editor of the Guardian
——————-e-Accessibility: leaving no one behind online
——————-David Berman, UN Special Advisor Web Accessibility
10:30 – 10:45 Networking break
10:45 – 11:30 Presentations:
——————-Communicating with empathy: The forgotten element in successful communication
——————-Dr. Deborah Bosley, President of PLAIN
——————-What were they expecting? How user expectations affect the success or failure of communications.
——————-Josiah Fisk, President of More Carrot LLC, USA – Luxembourg
11:30 – 12:30 Concurrent sessions (choose one)
12:30 – 13:45 Lunch (pre-booked speed mentoring appointments with leading experts from 13:00 to 13:35)
13:45 – 14:45 Concurrent sessions (choose one)
14:45 – 15:45 Concurrent sessions (choose one)
15:45 – 16:00 Networking break
16:00 – 16:30 Using plain language to protect consumers
——————-Colm Kincaid, Head of the Consumer Protection Division, The Central Bank of Ireland
16:30 – 17:00 Closing address
——————--Inez Bailey, Director of NALA.

Please find details of Saturday’s concurrent session below.

11:30 – 12:30

1. Advocating for plain legal language:
Why use 50,000 words when 500 will do?
Sarah Fox, Author of the 500-Word Contract.

2. Technology:
Right and wrong, correct and incorrect – language advice by mail, Facebook and Twitter.
Eva Olovsson and Ingrid Olsson, Språkrådet, Sweden.
The mobile future: plain language on a mobile web.
Neil James, Executive Director, Plain English Foundation (Australia).

3. Best practices in plain language and adult literacy:
Help me become a better reader! Modelling efficient and effective reading strategies as a guide for clear language and design.
Diana Twiss, Director Adult and Workplace Learning, Decode Literacy Solutions Vancouver.

4. Becoming a plain language organisation
Risky business: Clear communication in Canadian life and health insurance.
Erica Hiemstra and Rae Sands, Toronto.

5. Skills in plain-language writing:
Repurposing lengthy FAQs into useful content.
Kathryn Catania. Co-Chair, U.S. Plain Language Action and Information Network
Improving the linguistic quality in emails at Statistics Sweden.
Karin Hansson, Communications Department, Statistics Sweden.

13:45 – 14:45

1. Training
Clear Writing Coaching.
Alex McCafferty, Clear language training experts in a variety of European institutions, Belgium.
Let’s talk training: Sharing tips and lessons learned.
Dominique Joseph and Heather Walsh, Canada.

2. Best practice:
How Malaysians view plain English and what we do about It.
Hasina Yasmin Abdullah, Plain Language Solutions. Malaysia.
Making public texts clearer. General principles and experience of implementation from a project with the City of Graz, Austria.
Professor Dr Rudolf Muhr, Austrian German Research Centre / University of Graz, Austria.

3. Plain Language Culture: A Tale of Two Countries and More…
Becoming a plain language organisation and sustaining good practice
Karen Baker, Susan Kleimann and Lynda Harris.
Moderator: Anki Matteson

4. Easy-to-read:
Finnish Easy-to-Read pamphlets about social benefits.
Solveig Arle
Easy-to-Read initiatives to enable participation in society for persons with low reading skills
Ulla Bohmann, MTM/Swedish Agency for Accessible Media

5. Using graphics effectively
Using Graphics Effectively Online.
Nad Rosenberg, President, TechWRITE, Inc, USA.
Improving graphic sign language using a word grammar: Evaluation and redesign of international standard traffic and safety signs.
Dr Leonard Verhoef, the Netherlands.

14:45 – 15:45

1. Evaluating clarity:
Successful user experience: strategy and roadmaps.
Elizabeth Rosenzweig, Principal Consultant and Adjunct Faculty Bentley University Masters programme in Human Factors and Information Design, Founding Director of World Usability Day.

2. Health:
Making health research make sense.
Janice Mann, CADTH, Canada.
Using information design and typography to intervene in an imperfect system.
Sandra Gabriele, York University, Canada.

3. Conversations with authors:
Solving the Grammar DilemmaMarie Antaya

Rewrite – How to overcome daily sabotage of your brand and profitLynda Harris

Writing for dollars, writing to please Joseph Kimble

A comprehensive model for comprehensible knowledge communicationBenedikt Lutz

A Plain-Language Handbook for Legal WritersChristine Mowat

“Dictionary of differences in legal terminology Austria-Germany”: Terminological differences in pluricentric languages and their relevance for plain languageRudolf Muhr

Oxford Guide to Plain EnglishMartin Cutts

4. The legal dilemma:
Plain language changes in the municipality of Stevns (pilot project).
Karsten Pedersen, PhD, Associate Professor, Communication Roskilde University, Denmark.
The Layperson in Legal Land: Effective Plain-Language Writing for Court (US).
Matthew Philion, Guardian ad Litem, USA.

5. Information design:
Goldfish, Clear Communications and LUNAtics?
Robert Linsky, Director of Information Design at NEPS, a leading communications management company (USA)

10:00 – 12:00 PLAIN’s AGM
The McClelland Room, The Central Hotel, 1-5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2.

Get the Conference Programme Here