I feel privileged to have been a part of the inspiring PLAIN 2013 conference over the weekend, which brought together clear communication representatives from nineteen countries and had us talking about everything from legalese to health literacy to usability testing, among many other fascinating topics. Huge congratulations to Cheryl Stephens and her team for putting on such a terrific event.
A major takeaway for me is that opportunities abound for editors and other communication specialists. After years of toiling in the book industry, whose traditional model has teetered on the brink for as long as I’ve been involved, I’ve found renewed optimism in my profession after attending this conference. Recognition by not only government but also the private and academic sectors that clear communication is essential in our age of information overload means there is so much work out there for plain language practitioners and trainers, and the fact that a lot of what we do is rooted in social justice and the belief that citizens, union members, and consumers have the right to understand our laws, regulations, and contracts is hugely affirming and provides an extra bit of motivation to keep doing what we do.
As usual, I’ll be summarizing the sessions I attended, but, as usual, the process will probably take me a few weeks. Interrupting the PLAIN entries will be one about tomorrow’s important EAC-BC meeting, where Maureen Nicholson will tell us about potential changes to the Editors’ Association of Canada’s governance structure and ask members for their input. A primer on what EAC’s governance task force has been up to is here.