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Make your compliance forms accessible

Mark Cooney ( is a professor at Western Michigan University Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, USA.

As we consider inclusion in the workplace and ways to ensure that those around us feel welcome, respected, and valued, let’s not forget about compliance documents. After all, inclusion requires thoughtful communication, including written communication. Compliance forms shouldn’t be left out of this equation just because they tend to have a more formal legal vibe.

If you design and write reader-centered compliance forms—forms that empower readers—you’ll serve readers’ needs while also serving your own. Studies show that plain, clear business documents create a win for everybody.

Here are some thoughts on creating compliance forms that enhance accessibility and reader comprehension and, thus, improve your desired outcomes.

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