The introduction of the US Plain Language Act in 2010 required federal agencies to use ‘clear Government communication that the public can understand and use’. This was followed up with executive orders which called for regulations to be ‘accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand’.
Whether you agree or disagree with the introduction of such a law, there’s no denying that it’s given some organisations the push they needed to improve the way they communicate.
We’re particularly fond of these plain language tips from the US National Archives (no mindless zombies here, thanks). And we’re encouraged by the growing number of organisations and politicians who are speaking out in support of plain language and seem to understand its benefits for people who use government services and for the services themselves.
In 2011, after completing a Churchill Fellowship on best practice in community legal information, our Executive Director called for similar legislation for Australia.
What do you think?