Amy Salyzyn awarded grant for project studying public understanding of complex legal documents

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2019

CLTS Faculty Member, Dr Amy Salyzyn has received a Justice and technology researchgrant from the Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO) for a two-year project that will examine how the public reads and understands complex court documents.

Interactive forms required for court proceedings are often very complex, and can create difficulties for many self-represented litigants. It is not only important to ensure that the public can read the words on a given form, but also that they understand what they are supposed to do in response to those words. Dr Salyzyn’s project, entitled “Assessing the Complexity of Interactive Court Forms using a Functional Literacy Approach” will examine how technology can be used mitigate the complexity of court forms and reduce the barrier to the public effectively accessing justice.

Dr Salyzyn is joined on this project by co-applicants CLTS Associate Member Jacquelyn Burkell, from Western University, and Julie Mathews and Erik Bornmann, from Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO). The project will build on Professor Salyzyn's and Professor Burkell's previous work evaluating the accessibility of paper-based court forms to examine the benefits and identify challenges contained in interactive electronic forms.

 

As part of its commitment to improving access to justice, the LFO’s Justice and technology research grants aim to increase access to justice in novel ways, enabling a better understanding of the practical ways in which technology can change the way that legal services are provided.

 

Congratulations to Dr Salyzyn!

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