Plain Language: Civic Design’s Must-Have

1 day virtual workshop
November 15, 2022, 8:00 am-4:00 pm PT

More and more, people have heard of plain language–and want more. But how do you get it if you don’t have a content person on the team? What do you do if you’re a designer working with subject-matter experts? How can you make the site work for your audiences? How can you make the words on your site accessible to people who need the information?

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) has energized the plain language movement, giving it a new focus. As plain language redefined audiences and their needs, DEIA has redefined accessibility and inclusion. Plain language is accessibility.

As we center design on the people using a site, we also center the words. We question language and wording choices. We change how we arrange the words. Join Katherine Spivey for a full day focusing on content and information design using plain language to increase your site content’s impact and meet your audiences’ needs. This is not a grammar class.

Target audience:

  • Civic designers who want to know what to do with the words.
  • Civic designers who want to know if they can do anything with the words.
  • Civic designers who are responsible for dealing with words, whether they understand what to do or not.
  • Civic designers who have to deal with the word people.
  • Civic designers who want to know what the word people are talking about and what all the symbols on the page mean.

Secondary audience:

  • Anyone who wants to help the government deliver better experiences to the people they serve


  • Some experience with web content
  • Willingness to learn and share
  • Desire for a better relationship with your content people


  • Learn what plain language means
  • Describe the techniques
  • Define the benefits
  • Evaluate samples and rewrites
  • Describe major content types
  • Articulate barriers in your workplace or agency
  • Name three barriers to plain language
  • Name immediate and long-term content projects


$895 regular, sales end November 15, 2022