Cheryl Stephens Innovation Award Winners



We are delighted to announce that IRIS Lab in Brazil has been awarded the Cheryl Stephens Innovation Award for their outstanding contributions to plain language communication.

Their groundbreaking initiative, the Plain Language Act of the State of Ceará, has simplified communication and championed the cause of plain language. At the helm of IRIS Lab is Karine Gurgel who leads a passionate team of individuals, including Mônica Saraiva, whose significant contributions have been pivotal in their journey and which has earned the team global recognition.

Take a look at our sponsor’s awards video to find out more about IRIS Lab’s inspiring story, their innovative initiatives, and the profound impact of their approach to plain language communication.


Plain Language Academies

Plain Language Academies has demonstrated visionary leadership in the field by developing an online plain language program that addresses an array of needs in plain language training, reflects the plain language process from start to finish, and provides online introductory and advanced courses, as well a certificate of combined courses. They currently offer training in English, Spanish, and French, with plans to add more languages in the near future! In 2020, during the height of the pandemic, this team planned the first coordinated multilingual courses in alignment with the upcoming ISO Standard 24495 on plain language principles.

PLAIN’s President Margrethe Kvarenes presents the Christine Mowat Plain Language Achievement Award to Enliven Victoria’s Executive Director Rob Macindoe and the Cheryl Stephens Plain Language Innovation Award to Plain Language Academies’ Director Kate Harrison Whiteside.



Katherine McManus and Simon Fraser University

The 2019 Cheryl Stephens Innovation Award was presented to Katherine McManus and Simon Fraser University Continuing Education for the development, design, and implementation of the Plain Language Certificate Program in the Continuing Education department of Simon Fraser University.

Katherine McManus’ leadership and expertise in developing the certificate program is a significant contribution to the field of plain language. The Plain Language Certificate Program is recognized for its achievement in using technology for online learning, advocacy and network-building, as well as using the latest developments from experienced plain language practitioners. Thanks to Katherine’s diligence and commitment, the plain language field has a university-based professional training program.


Katherine McManus with the Cheryl Stephens Award