Top international speakers to attend PLAIN 2015 Conference

14 Sep 2015
International plain language conference

This Friday 18 and Saturday 19 September over 250 delegates from around the world will attend PLAIN 2015 – an international plain language conference in Dublin Castle. Its theme is ‘Clearer language, greater efficiency and effectiveness’.

At this conference, 60 top international speakers will share their expertise in communicating clearly in all aspects of business and life, including in the financial, legal, health and technology sector. Here is snapshot:


  • ‘Using plain language to protect consumers’Colm Kincaid, Head of the Consumer Protection Division, The Central Bank, Ireland.
  • ‘The hazards facing low-income people when navigating the financial world.' Sally McBeth, Manager, Clear Language Design, Canada.


  • Why use 50,000 words when 500 will do? Sarah Fox, Author of the 500-Word Contract, UK.
  • Reconciling the need for legal accuracy with a commitment to plain language. Stephen James, Legal Writer and Editor at the Victorian Law Foundation, Melbourne.


  • ‘Clear health information is the best remedy’. Dr Richard Murray, Deputy Chief Medical Office, MSD, USA.
  • ‘Why patients still can’t get clear information about their medicines’. Karel van der Waarde, Design and research consultant, Belgium.

Technology and social media:

  • ‘E-accessibility: leaving no one behind’: David Berman, Usability Expert and High Level Advisor to the UN (Canada)
  • ‘The mobile future: plain language on a mobile web’. Neil James, Executive Director, Plain English Foundation (Australia).

While this is the 10th international PLAIN Conference, it is the first time the conference has been held in Ireland by the Plain Language Association InterNational (PLAIN). PLAIN is a growing volunteer nonprofit organisation of plain language advocates, professionals, and organisations committed to plain language. The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) is hosting PLAIN’s 10th international conference in Ireland with sponsorship from FBD Trust, Mason Hayes & Curran, MSD and several other organisations.

“Let’s face it, the majority of people would prefer if banks, legal firms, health professionals and other organisations used less jargon and more plain English in their communications. It can also save businesses time, money and possible frustration by having to make repeated requests for information. Indeed, recently 5,000 people signed our petition calling for all public information produced by Government and its agencies to be written in plain English,” said Inez Bailey, Director of the National Adult Literacy Agency.  

“This conference is a unique opportunity to hear from top international speakers who have the most up-to-date knowledge and 'tricks of the trade' in communicating clearly, usability and plain English. We are delighted that so many Irish and international people have registered to attend the two-day conference,” said Inez Bailey.  

NALA is an Irish charity committed to making sure people with literacy difficulties can fully take part in society. As part of our work, we provide a Plain English Editing and Training Service to organisations who wish to improve the quality of their communications. Clear communication benefits all involved, including people with literacy difficulties.

For more information see

You can read the full programme here


Tickets are now sold out for this event.


For media queries, interviews or accreditation for the event please contact:

Clare McNally, PRO, National Adult Literacy Agency. Call 01 4127909, 087 6486292 or email


Keynote speakers include:

David Marsh, Production Editor of the UK Guardian, is another star in terms of clear communication. David joined the Guardian in 1996 after working for a range of national newspapers in the UK from the Sun to the Financial Times. He edits the Guardian Style Guide and the Guardian’s Mind your language blog.

Dr Deborah Bosley, President of PLAIN USA, is an international expert in the use of plain language and has 20 years experience helping organisations provide information that is easy to understand.

David Berman, has over 25 years of experience in design and strategic communications, including web design and software interface development. David is a senior strategic consultant to many of Canada’s largest websites, including IBM, the International Space Station, the Canadian government, the World Bank, and the Aga Khan Foundation.

Dr Neil James is Executive Director of the Plain English Foundation in Australia. Neil has published three books and over 80 articles on language and literature. ‘Writing at Work’ has become a standard reference on plain language in workplace writing. His most recent book 'Modern Manglish' looks at the lighter side of public language and gobbledegook