Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Clarity is an international organization promoting plain legal language. There are 1,019 members in 52 countries and jurisdictions (depending on how you count the Isle of Man, but there is only one member there).
Most (but not all) readers of this blog are in the United States. Professor Joseph Kimble is the USA representative for Clarity. Click here to send him a message about how to join Clarity. (Joe is also the main guy pushing membership in Scribes-- another great organization you should join--but in this post we're talking about Clarity).
If you live or work outside the United States, you can find other country representatives in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lesotho, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. If you live or work in one of those countries, send a note to Joe and he'll pass it along to your country representative. You can also visit their website by clicking here. The website has a number of great resoruces.
You get a great magazine when you join -- I have been enjoying it for many years now. Each issue expands my understanding of how we as teachers in the U.S. are connected to a global community of educators, practitioners, and jurists who are interested in the same goal of clear communication. I'm just looking at issue number 58, which has articles such as "What Makes a Document Readable?" I believe that the magazine started 1n 1983, so it should be celbrating its 25th anniversary right about now.
I urge you to join. Really, I do. It's US $35 a year if you're living in the United States, and similar fees for other countries. But join for more than a magazine. There are 205 members of Clarity in the United States (more members than in Australia or South Africa, but fewer than England). That number should increase, and Clarity should hold more functions and meetings in the United States. We'll all benefit.
As for upcoming events, Clarity will hold its third international conference in Mexico City from November 20-23, 2008. It will be co-hosted by Clarity and the Mexican Government Underministry of Public Administration, which is responsible for Mexico's plain-language project. More information on this is at the website listed above.