Identification Number:
Intended Audience:All HQ notices authors and approval components.
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Incorporating Gender Inclusive Language Changes in Existing Notices
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:References are included in the EM.
Retention Date: 9/13/2024

A. Purpose
    This emergency message (EM) provides instructions to notice authors regarding the use of the streamlined notice clearance process to incorporate gender inclusive language changes in existing notices.
B. Background
    We developed the streamlined notice language clearance process to support the agency’s initiative to use gender inclusive language in our internal and external-facing documents. The streamlined notice language clearance process allows for a quicker and more efficient method to update notices with gender inclusive language.
    Notice authors will begin making gender inclusive language changes to the language in notices produced through Customer Communications Management (CCM), Document Processing System (DPS), and the Record Specification (Record Spec) process.

    Moving forward, notice authors will write new notices using gender inclusive language and incorporate gender inclusive language when reviewing or revising existing notices. These instructions include notices generated in legacy systems.
C. Definition of gender inclusive language
    Gender inclusive language means speaking and writing in a way that does not discriminate against a particular sex, social gender, or gender identity, and does not perpetuate gender stereotypes. Given the key role of language in shaping cultural attitudes, using gender-inclusive language is a powerful way to promote gender equality and eradicate gender bias.

D. Process for incorporating gender inclusive language in existing notices

    Complete the following steps to update gender inclusive language in an existing notice through the streamlined notice language clearance process:
      1. For Record Spec notices, request a sample of the notice and any fill-in choices from Systems at ^OCIO Controls. Record spec notices are generic standardized template-based notices. Everyone gets the same generic language in the notice with personalized fill-in information such as the beneficiary’s payment amount, any deductions, and payment date, e.g., the yearly cost- of-living adjustment (COLA) notice. The notices are printed and mailed by vendors who have a contract with SSA. For a list of Record Spec notices see the attached pdf.
      2. For notices in CCM, request a sample of the notice, Snippets, and any fill-in choices from Systems at ^OCIO Controls. CCM is a modern cloud-based architecture that transforms how the agency formats, generates, and delivers notices and communications to the public. CCM allows the public to receive different types of notices online through their personal mySocial Security account.
      3. For notices in DPS, request the following information from OISP’s Notices Team at ^OISP NSPS Controls:
          A template of the notice that shows all the mandatory or optional Universal Text Identifiers (UTIs) that could appear in the notice along with the language and fill-in choices.

      4. For notices in other notice systems i.e., the Document Generating System (DGS), Hearing and Appeals Case Processing System (HACPS) and the Disability Case Processing System (DCPS), please follow your current work-flow process to obtain notice samples and implement gender inclusive language changes using the streamlined notice clearance process.

      NOTE: Any additional changes to the notice will require notice authors to follow the abbreviated or full notice language clearance processes, see NL 00610.110 - Notice Language Clearance Process.

    E. Sample notice clearance package

      Attached is an example of a streamlined notice clearance package for gender inclusive language updates.

    T2R Change of Address.docxT2R Change of Address.docx
EM-24008 - Incorporating Gender Inclusive Language Changes in Existing Notices - 3/13/2024