Plain Language Summit 2020

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Online Event

Event description
Join us for discussion from government and private-sector leaders on how to advance plain language in government communications.

About this Event

About the Plain Language Community of Practice

The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) Community of Practice (PL-COP) is an inter-agency group of plain language practitioners from many different federal government agencies and specialties who support the use of clear communication in government writing.

Event Details

On October 27-28, 2020, the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) brings experts to explain how plain language can improve our government communication.

You will need to register for each session to receive the correct links and conference details.

Below is a short description of each session.

(Tues., October 27)

First Session (10:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ET)

In this session you will hear from the following speakers :

  • 10:00am - 10:30am: Welcome & Annual Report - Katherine Spivey, GSA’s Plain Language Launcher and co-chair of the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) & Katina Stapleton, Co-Chair of PLAIN
  • 10:35am - 11:15am: Lessons learned from 18f - Nicole Fenton, Senior Content Strategist, Nava
  • 11:15am - 12:15pm : Keynote - Mark Mchale, GSA's Senior Plain Language Official Associate Administrator, Office of Strategic Communications, GSA

Second Session (2:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. ET)

In this session you will hear from the following speakers :

  • 2:00pm - 3:00pm : Plain Language and Customer Experience - Martha Dorris, Dorris Consulting International
  • 3:00pm - 3:30pm : International Plain Language Standards - Annetta Cheek, Chair, Standards Committee, International Federation for Plain Language
  • 3:30pm - 4:15pm : 30 Years of False Criticisms - Joe Kimble, Flimsy Claims for Legalese and False Criticisms of Plain Language: A 30-Year Collection

(Wed., October 28)

Third Session (9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET)

In this session you will hear from the following speakers :

  • 9:30am - 10:00am: Using plain language can improve your ability to influence, motivate, or mobilize others, Bethany Blakey
  • Chief Modernization Strategist, CoE, TTS
  • 10:00am - 11:00am: Content Strategy - Ginny Redish, Redish & Associates
  • 11:00am - 12:00pm : Sense making lessons from the Private Sector, Abby Covert, Information Architect & Author

Second Session (2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET)

In this session you will hear from the following speakers :

  • 2:00pm - 3:00pm : Training Writers, Scott Kubie
  • 3:00pm - 4:00pm : Plain Language, Katherine Spivey

How to Attend

Thank you for your interest in this event. Please contact us directly at if you need accessible accommodations to be able to attend.

Two important items!

  • Once you register and before the event, you will need to download the Zoom web browser client in order to attend this event. Visit the Zoom Download Center to install.
  • Be sure to check your email, as the Zoom link and password will be sent 24 hours and 1 hour prior to our event start time for anyone that registers. The email subject line will contain the event name.

Please click "Register" to sign up and reserve your spot for the event.

This event will be held and recorded over Zoom for Government. For general questions about the tool, please review the Zoom computer and device requirements and FAQs. If you have specific questions or security concerns about Zoom for Government, please visit

About is the community-curated, government resource for best practices on designing, building, and deploying easy-to-use, online customer experiences, which empower federal agencies to create deeper connections with the public they serve. delivers knowledge-as-a-service to help transform government interactions with the public through community connections, education, and collaboration.

About U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)

The mission of the U.S. General Services Administration is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across the government. One of GSA’s four strategic goals is to improve the way agencies buy, build, and use technology. To learn more about GSA or, visit or join the conversation on social media at @USGSA, @GSA_TTS, or @Digital_Gov.

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