Plain Language Summit 2018

Friday, July 20, 2018 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM ET

Hosted by and the Plain Language Community of Practice

On Friday, July 20th, the federal Plain Language community will bring together some of the brightest individuals involved in government communications for a one-day series of talks and conversations on how to advance plain language on government communications.

Plain Language /

Do you work in government communications? Gather your team and join us in-person or online to learn about the importance of plain language and methods for implementing it, and learn from fellow communicators from across the federal government.

We believe the public deserves plain language communication from its government, and it’s the law. The benefits of plain language are both tangible and intangible:

  • Plain language gets your message across in the shortest time possible.
  • More people are able to understand your message.
  • There is less chance that your document will be misunderstood, so you spend less time explaining it to people. And if your document gives instructions, your readers are more likely to understand them and follow them correctly.

Our Plain Agenda

Time Speaker
9:00am Welcome from Federal Plain Language Community of Practice, Co-Chairs - Katherine Spivey, GSA and Kathryn Catania, USCIS
9:05am Welcome from GSA’s Senior Plain Language Official - Donna Garland, GSA
9:15am - 10:00am Keynote - Ginny Redish, Redish & Associates
10:00am - 10:15am Break
10:15am - 11:00am TL;DR - Anne Meeker and Eric Kanter, from the Office of Congressman Seth Moulton (MA-06)
11:00am - 11:40am Plain Language, Customer Experience and User Experience — Jon Rubin, CFPB
11:40am - 12:20pm How to Design Custom Plain Language Training — Katina Stapleton, Dept. of Education
12:20pm - 1:15pm Break for Lunch
1:15pm - 1:55pm Plain Language and Translation — Laura Godfrey, GSA
1:55pm - 2:25pm Center for Plain Language Report Card — David Lipscomb, Center from Plain Language
2:25pm - 2:40pm Break
2:40pm - 3:10pm Meeting People Where They Are - Meredith Larson, Dept. of Education
3:10pm - 3:50pm No, the Law Does Not Normally Require Legalese - Joe Kimble, Professor Emeritus, Western Michigan University
3:50pm - 4:00pm Wrap Up & Closing - Kathryn Catania, USCIS and Katherine Spivey, GSA

Conference Documents and Ephemera


The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) is a group of federal employees from different agencies and specialties who support the use of clear communication in government writing.

In this talk

Originally posted by Anne Meeker on Jul 20, 2018
Originally posted by Donna Garland on Jul 20, 2018


Originally posted by Eric Kanter on Jul 20, 2018
Originally posted by Ginny Redish on Jul 20, 2018
Originally posted by Joe Kimble on Jul 20, 2018
Originally posted by Jonathan Rubin on Jul 20, 2018
Originally posted by Katherine Spivey on Jul 20, 2018

GSA | Washington D.C.

Originally posted by Katina Stapleton on Jul 20, 2018

Education | Washington, DC

Originally posted by Laura Godfrey on Jul 20, 2018

GSA | Washington, DC

Originally posted by Meredith Larson on Jul 20, 2018

Dept. of Ed