The Federal Communications Commission is committed to producing public documents that are clear, concise, well-organized and follow other best practices in keeping with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and the Plain Writing Act of 2010. This page outlines activities related to our commitment to plain language during the past year.
Using Plain Language
Specific FCC documents made available in formats consistent with Plain Writing guidelines include, but are not limited to:
- Consumer Publications Library: The Web and Print Publishing Division of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau conducted a thorough review and update of the Consumer Guides Library, consisting of approximately 180 consumer guides and factsheets. Documents were edited for plain language and updated with new information in consultation with subject-matter experts throughout the commission.
- Document Translations: All updated library documents online and in print continue to be translated into Spanish, and we also maintain a consumer-friendly directory of other translated pages. All Spanish translations are edited in accordance with Plain Writing principles.
- Consumer Call Center Resources: CGB also continued to regularly revise consumer call-center scripts in clear and conversational language. The scripts are used as resource documents for responding to consumer complaints and inquires.
- Reports, Proceedings and other Publications: Plain Writing principles continued to guide the development of web pages posted on FCC.gov as well as updates to existing online content. Examples include our new Consumer Outreach Hub, the Measuring Mobile Broadband Speed Test App, the Measuring Braodband America 2013 Report and our Distracted Driving Information Clearinghouse.
- Other Documents: In addition to the above, other documents covered by the Plain Writing Act include those that are necessary for obtaining a federal government benefit or service, that provide information about any federal government benefit or service, or that explain to the public how to comply with a requirement that the federal government administers or enforces were created in keeping with the federal guidelines.
Communication and Training Resources
We have communicated the requirements of the Plain Writing Act to document creators, editors and other staff members in a variety of ways, and we continue to provide our FCC University "Plain Language Workbook: Five Steps to Clear, Effective Communications for the Federal Communications Commission. The workbook is available for download as a PDF or via a Scrib'd reader on our main Plain Language page.
Available resources also include online training materials developed by other federal agencies. As with our Plain Language Workbook, these are freely available to other agencies and to the public. Examples include:
- Social Security Administration Videos On Demand: Windows Media and Flash zip files
- U.S. Patent and Trade Office: Plain Language: A Handbook for Writers in the U.S. Federal Government
- National Institutes of Health: Plain Language Training
- Plainlanguage.gov: More Training Resources
Approximately 880 staff members were briefed on requirements and expectations as part of our initial FCCU training program in the summer and fall of 2011. These include content creators, reviewers and publishers who continue to follow the guidelines and principles of Plain Writing and are responsible for ongoing compliance in performing their duties.