With Maria Vlachou

According to the Plain Language Association International, a communication is in plain language if its wording, structure and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information. Thus, accessible, clear communication requires a close collaboration between people responsible for content and people responsible for presenting that content.

Cultural organisations normally say that they are open to all people, but their communication practices show something different. Errors in communication (both visual and written) are common and they are being repeated, preventing non-specialist audiences and audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds from accessing the content of exhibitions and other media (websites, audio-guides, programme notes, etc).

Culture professionals and designers complain about a mutual misunderstanding as to the role and responsibilities of each party. Through this training course, we will seek to better understand our visitors’ needs and motivations and how we can contribute towards satisfying them efficiently and also affordably.

Target audience

People working in the areas of cultural communication, programming, mediation and designers


Maria Vlachou is a Cultural Management and Communications consultant. Founding member and Executive Director of Acesso Cultura | Access Culture, promoting access – physical, social, intellectual – to cultural participation. She has worked as a consultant in clear languagem for different museums in Portugal.

Author of the bilingual (pt/en) blog Musing on Culture, where she writes about culture, the arts, museums, cultural management and communication, access. She is the manager of the Facebook group Museum texts / Textos em museus and co-manager of the blog Museums and Migration. She participated in the European project RESHAPE – Reflect, Share, Practice, Experiment, having joined the trajectory “Arts and Citizenship”.

In the past, she was Communications Director of São Luiz Municipal Theatre and Head of Communication of Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciência Viva (Lisbon). Board member of ICOM Portugal (2005-2014) and editor of its bulletin. She has collaborated with different programmes of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Fellow of ISPA – International Society for the Performing Arts (2018, 2020); Alumna of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center in Washington (2011-2013); she has a M.A. in Museum Studies (University College London, 1994) and a B.A. in History and Archaeology (University of Ioannina, Greece, 1992).