Plain English editing, writing and training service -
provided by the National Adult Literacy Agency.

Testimonials by sector

What some of our clients of our editing service said:

Health Sector

"It is vital that the public information provided by the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS) is accessible to all, regardless of their literacy level. By partnering with NALA, we can make sure that women are properly informed about breast and cervical screening. This helps to take the fear out of screening, making women more likely to attend their screening appointments. NALA's ongoing support is invaluable to the NCSS."

Clare Manning, Communications Executive, National Cancer Screening Service

"The Plain English Service is something I would recommend integrating into every organisation. It is very easy to assume the information you put out makes sense but making a few small changes can make such a difference to the reader and their ability to truly understand and benefit from the information you are giving them. As a healthcare company we want to provide information that is easy to understand and help people make informed decisions about their own health. At MSD we have been using the Plain English service for over 6 years now and it has made such a difference to the materials we produce. The NALA editing team are a pleasure to deal and have a great understanding of how the plain English service can be integrated into our internal approval processes. It is an invaluable service."

Nicola Fullam, Patient Partnership Manager, MSD

"NALA supported us to ensure our patient information booklets were written in plain English, translating many complex medical terminology into everyday language. This has helped to make it easier for people to understand their medicines. It was a pleasure to work with NALA on this important project for AbbVie."

Melissa Sheridan, Business Unit Manager, AbbVie

"Practical and informative, they help you to think differently about the way you use language."

Mary Griffin, Head of Corporate Services, CORU

"It was a pleasure to work with NALA on producing information materials for the opening of the Mallow Urgent Care Centre. The editor assisted me in producing leaflets and posters with clear messages and guidelines which patients and their families can easily understand. This was accomplished in a very tight timeframe."

Norma Deasy, Information and Publications Manager, Health Service Executive South

Public Sector

"Our work with NALA helped us focus on the role plain English can play in the Government's Public Service Reform agenda. NALA gave a very stimulating presentation to our Customer Service Officers Network. We also worked together to develop a simple and practical guide for Public Servants called 'Using Plain Language to Improve Effectiveness in the Public Service'. It is proving to be of great interest to public servants working in the area of customer service. We recommend NALA and its Plain English Editing and Training Service."

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

"We have to speak in clear language if we want the public to engage with their Parliament. NALA were both professional and helpful in assisting with the simplification of the language of Parliament."

Seán Barrett, An Ceann Comhairle
Speaking at the launch of the NALA Quality Plain English Mark, Ombudsman and Information Commissioner Emily O'Reilly said,

"I greatly welcome this initiative by NALA. As a former journalist, and now Ombudsman and Information Commissioner, I am very aware of the barriers to information and to understanding that can be erected by the use of language that is difficult, convoluted, stylised, or comprehensible only to those who understand the jargon of certain professions or of certain public and private service providers. In my work, I come across many cases where the language used in certain records, letters and other documents has been the underlying cause of the complaint at issue. The failure properly to understand the terms of a benefit scheme, for example, can lead to the denial of that scheme to the individual involved. Access to information means more than the simple receipt of records; it also means access to information in language that is readily comprehensible."

"We have had a positive experience of NALA's Plain English Editing Service. We were very happy that the editing work they did for us helped make our document more accessible. They met our deadlines and were pleasant and efficient to deal with. We now have a better appreciation for Plain English and its usefulness in making difficult information more accessible."

Susan Fleming, Broadcasting Division, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

"Because of the Plain English nature of the booklets, readers can easily understand the information presented. This in turn results in:

  • A better understanding of the work of the Office
  • A better understanding of court procedures
  • More informed Victims/Witnesses who will have an idea of what to expect when they go to court
  • Less time spent by prosecution team explaining court procedures
  • Less time spent by staff dealing with telephone queries
  • Appeal to a wide audience of all ages and educational backgrounds
  • Value to other agencies such as An Garda Síochána, the Courts Service, Victim Support Organisations and Groups."
Helen Cullen, Communications and Development Unit, Director of Public Prosecutions

Director of Public Prosecutions and Legal Sector

See Kevin Prendergast's (former Director of Public Prosecutions) testimonial on the value of NALA's Plain English editing work here (5.46 minutes in).

For a testimonial to the value of NALA's plain English contribution to the legal sector, see Collette Reid's (Solicitor and Course Manager of the Law Society) testimonial (6.54 minutes in).

Community and Voluntary Sector

"NALA's plain English editorial input to our Know Your Rights series has been invaluable in helping us render it fully accessible to the public. NALA's work is constructive, prompt and professional. In applying plain English standards they have the utmost respect for the author's work, and the integrity and accuracy of the text they are working on."

Walter Jayawardene, Communications Manager, Irish Council for Civil Liberties

"National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) was a really important part of the process of finalising the unique Governance Code for Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations. The original final draft document had been word-smithed by lawyers, practitioners and governance experts. NALA's work turned it into a readable, user-friendly, easy-to-use document with clear steps on how to proceed if an organisation wishes to improve its governance. The proof is in the over-whelmly positive response to the Code across the sector in both large and small organisations. The Working Group which developed the Code sincerely appreciates the invaluable thoughts and insights that were offered by NALA to this initiative, which is led by the sector for the sector."

Deirdre Garvey, CEO The Wheel

Training testimonials

"It was very good [and had an] easy flow. Paul's facilitation was attentive to each person. The training was very useful for the team and gave us all confidence in communicating clearly."

Orla Barry, Director of Mental Health Reform

"The training was fantastic. It illustrated and imparted clearly the skills needed to ensure SpunOut's message reaches its audience. We'd highly recommend the training."

John Buckley, Youth Engagement Officer, SpunOut, 2013

"NALA's Plain English training was incredibly useful. The training provided excellent tips and tools about how to make our communications more accessible. The training also helped me to explain to colleagues why Plain English is so important. I have shared the Plain English guide with a number of people in my company. My team has also started using Plain English in our recent communications with the general public."

Ciara Flanagan, Development Officer, Pobal

"This training really helped me to develop a communications strategy for my work managing an Adult Education Centre."

Máirín Kenny, Adult Literacy Organiser, CDVEC Cabra Adult Education Service.

"The NALA plain English training was very well structured and managed to build on simple illustrations towards realistic examples. The exercises were particularly helpful and the facilitator was informed and friendly. The course has been of enormous help in my dealings with energy customers, both in writing and on the phone."

Margarita Wood, Analyst Energy Customers Team at the Commission for Energy Regulation.