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NON-DISCRIMINATORY WORDING AND IMAGERY IN DEPARTMENT COMMUNICATIONS

DAO 214-10: NON-DISCRIMINATORY WORDING AND IMAGERY IN DEPARTMENT COMMUNICATIONS
Number: DAO 214-10
Effective Date: 1994-04-19

SECTION 1. PURPOSE.

.01 This Order prescribes policy, procedures, and responsibilities regarding the avoidance of discriminatory language and imagery in all communications issued by or identified with the Department.

.02 This revision is a general update of the Order and changes the office of primary interest from the Office of Procurement and Administrative Services to the Office of Public Affairs.

SECTION 2. BACKGROUND.

The Department of Commerce has a long-standing commitment to the tenets of work force diversity and the principles of equal opportunity for all people without regard to gender, national origin, disability, religion, age, race, color, and sexual orientation. All forms of communication should be closely edited during preparation and monitored thereafter in accordance with the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 3. POLICY.

The Department shall issue no communication that implies or reinforces - either by commission or omission, by language, or by visual imagery - discrimination against or stereotypes of any person regarding gender, national origin, disability, religion, age, race, color, and sexual orientation.

SECTION 4. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.

.01 Written and Spoken Communications. The use of language must be sensitive to and respectful of all people. A person's gender, national origin, disability, religion, age, race, color, and sexual orientation should not be indicated unless pertinent to the communication. When a person's disability must be indicated, place the emphasis on the person and not the disability, e.g. write or state, "...a person with a disability..." rather than "...a disabled person...." Any stereotyped, misleading, offensive, and exclusionary references must be avoided, and there is to be no relationship of such descriptions to professional status, achievements, or stature.

.02 Visual and Audio-Visual Communications. Heads of Departmental offices and operating units shall ensure that products of visual and audio-visual communications are fair regarding gender, national origin, disability, religion, age, race, color, and sexual orientation.

SECTION 5. RESPONSIBILITIES.

.01 The Director, Office of Public Affairs, will provide technical assistance to any Department employee preparing an official communication.

.02 Heads of Departmental offices and operating units shall ensure that all employees are familiar with the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 6. EFFECT ON OTHER ORDERS.

This Order supersedes Department Administrative Order 214-10, dated June 24, 1986.

Signed by: Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration

Office of Primary Interest: Office of Public Affairs

Questions and Comments

Send Questions or Comments on the Commerce Directives Management program to Directives@doc.gov.

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

 

Page last updated:April 7, 2010