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Plain Language Teacher,
Certified Spanish & French Linguist
Growing up, Maria wanted to learn a hundred languages. While she never got quite that far, her mastery of English, Spanish, French, and more have served her well in her career as a plain language, readability, and translation specialist. Having interacted with the courts on many levels, Maria has seen the hoops and hurdles that litigants and courts alike contend with when trying to manage the tangle of court forms and legal content across multiple languages. Maria has taken every opportunity to tackle this problem by simplifying content, implementing usability feedback, and applying continuous iterations. This decades-long advocacy to accessible court forms and instructions has been at the heart of her career.
Maria has also offered innovative training on a number of language-related topics in recent years, including plain language mentoring for the Oregon State Bar, plain language remote training for court attorneys and key staff for Colorado Courts, and the role of plain language and icons in Translation at the SRLN 2020 Conference. You may have also seen her work recently in the following publications:
- Michigan Bar Journal, Legal Self-Reliance: Empowering Consumers Through Plain Language April 2021 (Co-authors: J. Clement, and Judge Fern Fisher)
- Trends in State Courts, National Center for State Courts, Usability Testing Results for Legal Icons, Northwest Justice Project: A Case Study (Co-author: Tanushree Padath)
When she’s not advocating for accessibility in the courts, Maria loves to travel the world. A student of Danish, Italian, Mandarin, and Arabic, Maria has lately become fascinated with Swedish and the holiday of Midsummer. Her love of travel is second only to her greatest love: her three children.
See Maria's resumé.
See Maria's conference bio.