What does “plain language” mean? – August 2020

Using plain language is a priority for the Tribunal. Back in June of 2019, we had a readability assessment done to show us how we could communicate more clearly with our appellants. Our recent Progress Report summarizes what we did last year to train staff and members to communicate in plain language.

To guide our work, we want to use a common and accepted definition of plain language. That is why we are adopting the definition of plain language from the International Plain Language Federation.

Their definition says that “communication is in plain language if its wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended readers can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.”

Applying this definition to our communications puts the client first and provides better access to justice. We will use it, so that you can expect to see improvements in how we communicate in both English and French… on our website, in our appeal forms and letters, and in our tribunal decisions.

Paul Aterman
Chairperson
Social Security Tribunal of Canada

Date modified: