Theme:Usability of the Standards
Given the many audiences for these Standards and the complexity and interrelatedness of the content, how can we produce highly usable guidance?
Seminar: Plain Language in Regulations
Online presentation: Friday, May 18 at 1:00 - 2:30 ET with Dr. Janice (Ginny) Redish, Redish and Associates - http://www.redish.net/
This seminar will be conducted by phone (and captioning). Organized by the Editorial Working Group.
Read the Seminar materials (HTML and Word)
Ginny Redish is one of the internationally recognized experts in Plain Language. She will cover:
- What is plain language?
- How can plain language be used to improve the usability of regulations
- Examples of plain language in action
- Possible plain language provisions to include in our recommendations
This seminar will be useful for anyone involved in drafting the recommendations, and for anyone interested in plain language guidelines to help address cognitive disabilities.
Dial in details
Call in number: 1-888-566-6586 Passcode: 57796
Captioning - At the start time of the event, please login to your event by clicking on the link below: http://www.fedrcc.us//Enter.aspx?EventID=710540&CustomerID=321. Alternately, you can visit http://www.fedrcc.us/ and input your event confirmation number: 710540
Hand raising tool - Logon to the hand raising tool - http://teitac.org/tohru/, using "Documentation" for the meeting name.
Links and Resources
About Plain Language
- Center for Plain Language - http://www.centerforplainlanguage.org/
- PLAIN web site - http://www.plainlanguage.gov
- Definition of a plain language expert prepared for an IEEE standard - http://www.upassoc.org/upa_projects/voting_and_usability/plain_language.html
- Writing for the Web: Plain Language" from webcontent.gov - http://www.usa.gov/webcontent/managing_content/writing_and_editing.shtml
- Guidance on making regulations readable from the Federal Register - http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/write/plain-language/readable-regulations.html
Federal Policy and Regulation
- Overview of OMB Policies for Federal Public Websites - http://www.usa.gov/webcontent/reqs_bestpractices/omb_policies.shtml. These policies require agencies to (#1A) “to disseminate information to the public in a timely, equitable, efficient and appropriate manner” and (#2A) “maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information and services provided to the public.”
- HR 4809 - Regulation in Plain Language Act of 2006. This bill was an amendment to the Paperwork Reduction Act. It was placed on the union calendar on 9/14/2006. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:h.r.04809: The Thomas record includes the CBO cost estimate (PDF): http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/73xx/doc7314/hr4809.pdf.
- FTC Report: Improving Privacy Notices for Consumers. http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/03/jointprprivacy.shtm From the summary: "According to the report, consumers are overwhelmed by complex information, and simplification of financial privacy notices enhances consumers’ ability to read the notices and make informed choices about the use of their personal information. The research also demonstrates that consumers more easily understand the important information in the notice when good design reinforces the content." The full report (PDF) is linked from this page.
- Oregon Plain Language Law (passed May 8, 2007)
Examples of Plain Language
- Washington State Licenses and Inspections Department "Core Rules" - home page - http://www.lni.wa.gov/wisha/rules/corerules/default.htm and a good example of a category with multiple rules http://www.lni.wa.gov/wisha/rules/corerules/HTML/296-800-280.htm
- Background on the Washington State plain language initiative - http://www.plainlanguage.gov/examples/government/WArules.cfm
- NYC Zoning Handbook - http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/pub/zonehand.shtml. The table of contents and links to several sample pages are online, but the sample pages are in PDF files of doubtful accessibility. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/pub/zonehandc.shtml
- Discussion of Guidelines on Plain Language from the Documentation Subcommittee section.