Scotland pipes up for plain language

On Thursday 8 March 2012, Thorfinn Johnston, Plain English Campaign trainer, is attending a reception at the Scottish Parliament. This is part of the showcase for work by the Inclusive Communications team in Scottish Government.

The reception will open with an address by Michael McMahon MSP, delivered to representatives from Parliament, Government, public services and charitable organisations keen to provide clearer public communications.

At the annual Plain English Awards in 2011, Chrissie Maher, founder of Plain English Campaign acknowledged the efforts of Scottish Government with a ‘Pat on the Back’. This award recognised their independently written ‘Inclusive Communications Guide’, and the Scottish Government’s launch of their ‘Write Well’ campaign. Their initiative encourages employees throughout Government offices to use plain English in public communications.

You can download a copy of the ‘Inclusive Communications Guide’ (PDF, 483KB)

With over a million people in Scotland believed to have some form of communication support needs, plain language is essential to access their rights, and for their well-being.

Sir Peter Housden, Scottish Government Permanent Secretary, said “We are absolutely delighted by the recognition from the Plain English Campaign Awards for the quality of our written material. High quality writing is central to the effectiveness of our work across the Scottish Government and the award is testament to colleagues throughout the organisation who strive for continuous improvement”.

Plain English Campaign is calling for the 100,000 signatures needed by the UK Downing Street website to prompt discussions in the House of Commons about a UK Plain Language Act.

You can see a video of Mike Crockart MP Edinburgh West talking about plain English.

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