Abstract

Technical communication audiences are increasingly international and intercultural. Some of these audiences may be vulnerable and suffering trauma following violations of their human rights and dignity. In such cases, technical documents can serve to reinforce the oppression experienced by these audiences. Technical communicators must adapt and create methods to communicate ethically and responsibly with these audiences through a social justice lens. This thesis utilizes adapted plain language guidelines from plainlanguage.gov combined with human-centered design (“HCD”) guiding principles to perform a qualitative document analysis of technical government forms. The findings of this analysis demonstrate a need for continued integration of plain language and HCD in practice and pedagogy, research and pedagogy surrounding the ways technical communicators should balance the needs of vulnerable audiences with the interests of powerful stakeholders, and meaningful collaboration between technical communicators and government institutions.

Advisor

Abigail Bakke

Committee Member

Lee Tesdell

Committee Member

Emily Sauter

Date of Degree

2020

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

College

Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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Rights Statement

In Copyright