Plain Language Required
Did you know that the Plain Language Act went into effect yesterday? The Act requires Social Security and other agencies to:
(A) designate 1 or more senior officials within the agency to oversee the agency implementation of this Act:
(B) communicate the requirements of this Act to the employees of the agency;
(C) train employees of the agency in plain writing;
(D) establish a process for overseeing the ongoing compliance of the agency with the requirements of this
(E) create and maintain a plain writing section of the agency’s website as required under paragraph (2) that is accessible from the homepage of the agency’s website; and
(F) designate 1 or more agency points-of-contact to receive and respond to public input on—
(i) agency implementation of this Act; and
(ii) the agency reports required under section 5.
Thanks to Fedblog for reporting on this. Social Security has the website. There is an official agency plan. Robin Kaplan is in charge of the effort at Social Security.
I suggest starting with the form letter that Social Security uses to tell people that a hearing office has received a request for hearing. At least, I think the one I have seen here for decades is used nationally. It tells claimants that they will receive 20 days notice of a hearing. I think that half the people receiving that letter think that their hearing is coming up within 20 days after they receive the letter when their hearing may actually be a year or more later. I know that is a misreading but one part of plain writing is trying to reduce misunderstandings.
Labels: Plain Language
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