Welcome Cheryl Stephens

Skritswap is pleased to announce that Cheryl Stephens has joined the team as of July 2018. Cheryl brings her extensive plain language knowledge and we are happy to have her join us:

Cheryl Stephens is a leader in the plain language movement, who is known as an innovator. She co-founded Plain Language Association books about plain language through Plain Language Wizardry.International in 1993, recently honoured by PLAIN with the Founders Award its first life membership.

Cheryl researches, writes, and teaches about plain language and clear understandings. She teaches editing and plain language topics online for Simon Fraser University’s certificate programs. For the online Plain Language Academy, she teaches “Editing for Plainer Legal Writing”. Cheryl has produced Plain Language Legal Writing, Plain Language In Plain English, and 2 other

After six years of practicing law, Cheryl Stephens found her calling as an educator, trainer, and consultant in legal communications and marketing. Stephens’ focus became public legal information. She was an advocate for plain language and improved communication in the Canadian Bar Association for 15 years.

She created the first website about plain language in 1995 for the Access to Justice Network and created Lawyers for Literacy online for the CBA and Plain Train, an online training program for plain language, for the National Literacy Secretariat. In recent years, she has worked with the Multilingual Legal Dictionary at LegalGlossary.ca, the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals, and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and BC Ministry of Health, Attorney General, and BC Housing.

She received her BA from the University of the Pacific and a law degree from the University of British Columbia. She studied communications at SFU and has engaged in continuous learning in communication, coaching and adult learning.

Cheryl’s memberships have included the Canadian Association of Teachers of Technical Writing, the Association of Professional Communications Consultants, the Association for Business Communications, and SCRIBES, the Association of Legal Writers, the Center for Plain Language, Plain Language Association International, and CLARITY International.

We asked her some key questions to get to know her more and about what makes her so excited to join the skritswap team:

1) Tell us a little bit more about you as a person and what you enjoy.

I like to get away from the desk to refresh. I started taking art classes about 15 years ago to develop my skills and learn to imagine and create solutions. I am organizing a social circle in my neighborhood for people who do art for fun.

2) What are you most excited to work on at skritswap?


Making the work easier for people who prefer plain language communication. Getting to know the reader and their needs is hard enough work, so anything that makes the writing and revising easier will be an immense help.

3) Why did you want to join the skritswap team?

It is an exciting new opportunity to advance the work of the plain language movement by making new and reliable tools easily available. 

4) What is a cause in the world that you are really passionate about?

Standing up to injustice. And the march forward to equality and justice for all.


5) Where do you want to see skritswap in 3 years?

I am sure that I cannot even imagine the possibilities. Remember I used to work a switchboard with cords and a typewriter with no memory.