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Catherine Buckie, BSSc., BJ, M.Ed

Language is only plain if your audience can find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.

Catherine is a plain language writer, editor, and trainer. She enjoys tailoring information to meet the needs of specific audiences. Her most recent work includes

  • a website about Nova Scotia history for school children

  • the complaint and licensing processes for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia

  • an Ancestral Governance Handbook for the Nuxalk Nation in British Columbia

Catherine has a degree in journalism and pursued a Master of Education degree to gain a greater understanding of plain language. She is a volunteer patient and family advisor with her local health authority and a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol. Catherine enjoys skiing in the winter and camping and hiking in the summer.

Explaining the legal complexity of a sexual assault prosecution to a traumatized survivor

Presented by Denise Smith, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service and Catherine Buckie, Independent Plain Language Consultant, Canada

How do you remove the barriers sexual assault survivors face when deciding whether to participate in the prosecution process? We think explaining the process in plain language can help. Without sugarcoating, A Survivor’s Guide to Sexual Assault Prosecution, tells survivors that they have a key role to play and that they will be supported along the way. We hope our experience will give you the tools you need to communicate complex information about a difficult or sensitive topic to a vulnerable population.


Join this presentation to:

  • Learn why testing a fully designed draft document beats testing words alone.

  • Find out how to combine plain language practices with audience feedback to create a new document.

  • Think about the pros & cons of using the same participants to test the revised document.

  • Discuss the challenges of conveying complex information to a vulnerable audience.


Walk away with: 

  • Writing at Work: How to write clearly, effectively, and professionally by Neil James

  • Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set … Test! by Carol M. Barnum