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Plain Language

Group of different words to describe Clear and Plain Language.

Keep the reader in mind as you make decisions about organization, word choice and presentation.

Plain language makes it easier for everyone to understand and use health information. Although plain language is a familiar idea, many organizations don’t use it as often as they should. The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies to train staff and use plain language when they communicate with the public.

Plain Language Resources

  • The Federal Plain Language Guidelines
    The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN)
    The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) is a community of federal employees dedicated to the idea that citizens deserve clear communications from government. PLAIN developed and continue to revise The Federal Plain Language Guidelines to provide updated advice on clear communication.
  • Plain Language at NIH
    National Institutes of Health
    NIH has established the Clear Communication initiative that focuses on achieving health literacy objectives. Their page on plain language has information about training and links to plain language resources.

Plain Language Promotional Materials

CDC is committed to plain language communication with the public. We created these posters to remind staff about plain language techniques. You can use these materials or create your own to promote plain language in your organization. You can find many plain language resources on the federal plain language web site. We invite you to share your plain language stories on the health literacy blog.

These materials are sized for 8.5 X 11. If you want a large poster or small postcard size, please contact us.