Plain legal language and rights

We are excited to announce that we (NALA) are working with plain language experts and criminal defence lawyers from 14 EU Member States to review national letters of rights for people in custody. We recently took part in intensive training and debate in this area in Brussels, and we have plans to further develop our expertise to help make it easier for people to understand legal information about their rights. Keep tuned!

Updates and discounts

Lessons from PLAIN’s 2020 conference

The Plain Language Association International’s conference this year was excellent.

The use of plain English (and plain language) is increasingly being mainstreamed. At PLAIN’s conference, I heard the fantastic announcement that the ISO recently agreed to support the development of international pain language standards. I also heard about  pending plain language legislation in several countries – our own draft Plain Language Bill but also other legislation coming on stream in Norway and elsewhere.

To ensure your information is clear, consider using our Plain English Editing and Training Service. You can get discounts if you become a member of NALA – the National Adult Literacy Agency, Ireland. For more information, email

Do you want to learn how to write and present information in plain English?

Do you want to get free resources to help you do this?

If you answered yes to both questions, then our 21 November plain English course in Dublin is for you. Read about this course and book now before all places are taken.

Look out too for our 2020 list of open day plain English courses.

International Plain Language Day 13 October

This Sunday marks International Plain Language Day. It is a time to celebrate and reflect on our successes in plain English – and the work left to do.

Our ultimate goal in our Plain English Service is to support organisations to make their information more accessible to their readers. Writing clear and compelling content benefits all readers, but especially those with literacy difficulties (1 in 6 adults in this country).


We want to pay special tribute to government departments working hard to produce information in plain English. These include the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (to name just two). There are many other organisations working away to make their writing more accessible.  Well done!

Join us in a toast

We are marking International Plain Language Day by issuing a press release and by holding several in-house meetings about our plans to develop our services in plain English. While the actual International Plain Language Day is this Sunday, our meetings won’t be! However, I certainly will raise a toast to all things plain English on the day itself. I hope you join me!


Claire O’Riordan


Over 400 attended the Plain Language Association International Conference

Yes, PLAIN’s 2019 conference in Oslo, Norway, was a tremendous success. The conference was hosted for PLAIN by the Language Council of Norway and Difi, Norway. NALA’s Plain English Co-ordinator helped with the preparations too – and it paid off.

It was a conference that had it all. There were over 100 speakers from 30 or so countries. Perhaps the highlight though was the announcement that the International Organization for Standards (ISO) agreed to undertake a plain language standards project. NALA is going to be involved in this project. We are very excited about it.

Other noteworthy inputs were given on ethics and plain language, inclusivity and plain language and a wide range of presenters talking about their research findings on the benefits of, yes, you guessed it, plain language! We are able to tout our work with the Department of Health, the HSE and others on a recent national letter hospital template which improved the response rate from patients by 20%. There was also significant international interest in Ireland’s Draft Plain Language Bill.

Next steps

We are working away looking at the learnings from the conference to see what are the next best steps for us as the national leaders in plain English. We will keep you posted!

Our thanks to Leargas and Epale for funding our participation in PLAIN’s 2019 excellent conference!


Learning at the Plain Language Association Internation Conference

This Tuesday, 21 September,  we are off to the Plain Language Association’s International (PLAIN’s) conference in Oslo. We will learn about the latest developments in plain language and see how they might you to further improve the quality and clarity of your information.  They will also help us develop the plain English services we can offer to you. We will write you a post about this important conference on our return.

We thank Leargas and EPALE for funding us to take part at this important conference.