Award-Winning Scholars to Present Keynote Address at Forum on Plain English
The Center for Plain English Research and Study at the University of Houston-Downtown will host the fourth Biannual Forum on Plain English on Nov. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium. The forum aims to promote informed uses of Plain English guidelines, which are writing standards recommended by several government agencies for improved communications with the general public.
The one-day forum will address the following:
- Definitions of plain language
- Plain language organizations and resources
- The Grand ClearMark and WriteMark awards programs
- Plain language strategies that work in real documents
- Stages in rewriting documents in plain language
- Testing documents for clarity and effectiveness
Seating is limited, and participants must register online by Friday, Oct. 31. Parking and lunch are included with registration.
The event will feature two keynote speakers - Susan Kleimann, president of Kleimann Communication Group, Inc., and Barbra Kingsley, a partner with the Kleiman Communication Group.
Susan Kleimann leads a small business that provides plain language training and helps organizations create clear, consumer-focused information. Kleimann has more than 35 years of experience creating messages that people can understand and use. Since founding her company in 1997, she has become an international expert on user-centered design, plain language and disclosure development for complex regulations and rules. She frequently directs large-scale contracts with government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), creating documents that are read by millions of people every day.
For example, she was instrumental in the development of the new mortgage disclosures that all consumers will receive during the mortgage process. These documents have been hailed as transformational as they "present the information in plain language and a format that is easy to follow, where the costs and risks of the loan are made clear," says Richard Cordray, director of CFPB.
Barbra Kingsley is a partner with the Kleimann Communication Group in Washington, DC. She has 18 years of experience as an award-winning information designer. She has developed plain language documents for numerous government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Veteran's Benefits Administration, among others. Her work has won awards from the Society for Technical Communication, the Center for Plain Language and the National Association of Government Communicators.