The South Carolina Access to Justice Commission was first introduced to the concept of Plain Language at the regional public hearings last spring. Last week, Court Solutions’ attendees learned more about the Plain Language movement and heard about initiatives around the country.
Plain Language uses words and images that most people can understand. It enables people with low literacy abilities, people with limited English proficiency and/or people with cognitive disabilities to more easily understand the concepts. People with visual impairments benefit from plain language because it is easier for their automated “screen readers.”
There are many online resources about how to draft plain language documents. Here are just a few:
- http://www.transcend.net/at/index.html for a resource, Transcend Translations
- http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/index.htm for information about the Plain English Campaign, out of the United Kingdom
- http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/write/plain-language/ for information on how to comply with the Presidential Memorandum – Plain Language in Government Writing
- http://www.impact-information.com/impactinfo/readability02.pdf for the aricle “The Principles of Readability”
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legalese#Legalese for a history of legalese
Stay tuned for more information about Plain Language updates from Stephanie A. Nye.