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Usability Professionals’ Association Urges Consideration of Plain Language

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Date: May 5, 2006

To: Representative Candice Miller and the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs

From: Thyra Rauch, President, Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA), the UPA Board of Directors

Re: The Regulation in Plain Language Act of 2006 [HR 4809]

The Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) wishes to express its support for plain language.

The UPA was founded in 1991 by people working to improve the design of technology: software, services, and other products. Our members helped design the first websites to be used by the general public, and early on recognized the need for clarity, understandability, and unambiguous language as a critical aspect of a good user experience.

We believe that the principles of plain language, language that is clear and readily understandable to the intended reader, are as important in the public sector as they are in private industry. The use of plain language can improve the civic experience for all citizens, no matter how they interact with their government.

It is for this reason that we believe the requirements in the Regulation in Plain Language Act of 2006 [HR 4809] would be major benefit to the operation of government by enhancing the ability of both business and citizens to comply with regulations and to obtain needed services.

We support the views expressed in the testimony of Dr. Annetta Cheek, Professor Joseph Kimble, Professor Thomas Cooley, and Mr. Todd McCracken in your March 1 hearing.

We encourage the Subcommittee to take HR 4809 under serious consideration and expeditiously produce a bill for review by the full House.

Thank you for your promotion of plain language in the Government.

Thyra Rauch, President
and the UPA Board of Directors: Nigel Bevan, Kerrie Green, Lyle Kantrovich, David Mitropoulos-Rundus, Peter Picone, Whitney Quesenbery, Elizabeth Rosenzweig, Paul Sherman, Silvia Zimmermann


Additional Information


The Usability Professionals' Association is an international, non-profit, professional association with more than 2000 members in the US and 35 other countries. Members are specialists in evaluating and designing products that are easy to learn and use. The organization provides its members with a wide variety of professional services. Through outreach the UPA:

  • Shares information about the skills and approach of usability professionals in meeting needs for usable products.
  • Acts as an advocate for usability in consumer, corporate and governmental software, products and web sites.
  • Educates the general public about the usability.

For more information, contact:

The Usability Professionals' Association
140 N. Bloomingdale Rd.
Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1017
email: office@upassoc.org
web: http://www.usabilityprofessionals.org

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