Re: Notes and Resources on Plain Language

These are great resources to look into, Charles.
By any chance, can we have this as one of posts at Silver community group site, ?

JaEun Jemma Ku, PhD
Internet Applications Systems Specialist
University library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
424 Library, M/C 522
1408 West Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61801

From: "Hall, Charles (DET-MRM)" <>
Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 10:57 AM
To: Silver Task Force <>
Subject: Notes and Resources on Plain Language
Resent-From: <>
Resent-Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 10:56 AM

First, the focus of the discussion that emerged during and following the Design Sprint was split between 2 main considerations:

  1.  Regardless of terminology choice between “Plain Language” or “Simple Language”, should we adopt an existing external standard or create one?
     *   Does the fact that the standard already exists lend credibility to Silver and align to its goals?
     *   Is there any licensing or restrictions involved in using the standard?
  2.  Requirements (or guidelines) – likely in the form of a style guide – will need to be defined for explicitly how to write criteria and any supporting ‘understanding’ documents in plain language in EACH supported language.

Here are some resources I have located for consideration when discussing plain language:

W3C Reading Level Understanding SC 3.1.5<>
Cites being ‘adapted from’ the UNESCO standard based on education level.

CRPD Article 2 – Definitions, Plain Language<>

U.S. Government Publishing Office, Plain Writing Act of 2010<>
Supported by 2 Executive Orders and Office of Management and Budget Guidelines

Federal Plain Language Guidelines (U.S.)<>

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Plain English Handbook<>

European Commission Publications, How to Write Clearly<>

Gov.UK Guidance for Government Digital Publishing and Services<>

Information for all – European Standards [Lifelong Learning Programme & Inclusion Europe]<> [pdf]

How to Write Standards – ISO (2016)<><> [pdf]

What Is Plain Language? – Plain Language Association International (PLAIN)<>

Plain language: accessibility for information – Whitney Quesenbery (2014) Article<>
Plain language: accessibility for information – Whitney Quesenbery (2016) Slide Deck<>

3.1.5 – Reading Level (Level AAA) – Luke McGrath, WUHCAG (2014)<>

Inclusivity, Gestalt Principles, and Plain Language in Document Design – Jennifer Turner and Jessica Schomberg (2016)<>

Plain Legal Language General Resources – Clarity International<>

Plain Language – Wikipedia<>

Finally, I would consider this required reading for anyone discussing or working on translating the current WCAG SCs into plain language, since this effort is exactly that:

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines—for People Who Haven’t Read Them – Alan Dalton (2017)<>

Charles Hall
UX Architect, Technology

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Received on Tuesday, 3 April 2018 16:13:49 UTC