Plain English - background

Supporting peoples’ rights to understand text and the spoken word

What it is and why we do it?

NALA is the national leader in plain English in Ireland. Plain English is a way of presenting information that helps someone understand it the first time they read or hear it. When you use plain English, you:

  • use clear, concise and accurate language,
  • order your points logically, including only necessary detail, and
  • use clean design to make your writing more attractive and easier to follow.

Plain English benefits all of us but is particularly helpful for the 1 in 4 Irish people with low literacy levels.


Why is NALA providing a Plain English editing and training service?

NALA provides a plain English to increase opportunities for people with literacy difficulties to access important information on their rights and entitlements as citizens, workers, voters and family and community members. We work to assist organisations to fulfil their responsibilities in this regard. Plain English also benefits those with strong literacy skills.


How long we’ve been doing it?

We have over 10 years expertise in plain English.

What it involves

We provide a Plain English Editing Service and introductory training in plain English. We also provide plain English accreditation of documents and websites (NALA Plain English Mark).

Recently, we put access to our expertise on our plain English website Anyone can access this website free of charge. It has free, easy writing and design tips that people can use to make their information easier to understand. We also have a series of A-Z Guides to political, legal, citizenship, social services and environmental terms.


Who has used our Plain English Service?

We have worked with government departments, an array of public sector organisations, some private sector organisations and individuals.

  • Bord Iascaigh Mara,
  • Beaumont Hospital,
  • CORU,
  • County Councils (various),
  • Census Office,
  • Equality Authority of Ireland,
  • Electric Ireland,
  • Food Safety Authority of Ireland,
  • Health Information Quality Authority,
  • Houses of the Oireachtas,
  • Irish Council for Civil Liberties,
  • Justice (Department of), 
  • Limerick Children’s Services,
  • Mater Hospital,
  • MSD,
  • National Standards Authority of Ireland,
  • Office of the Ombudsman, 
  • Road Safety Authority of Ireland