Learn more about us at the Center for Clear Communication
Founded in 1992, we've established a solid reputation for creating documents and transforming complex or technical information into easy-to-read, easy-to-understand documents.
We’re a woman-owned, small business that consistently completes projects on time and within budget. Because we are small, you get personal attention from someone who does the work, rather than from a disinterested bureaucracy. Our size allows us to give you the benefits of the most senior professionals at a reasonable price.
Largely because communication problems know no limits of industry or organizational size, our clients come from all fields.
We’ve worked with a wide range of organizations, including:
- American Bar Association
- American Express
- Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
- Bankers Systems, Inc.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Chrysler Corporation
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Eaton Credit
- Fannie Mae
- Fors Marsh Group
- GE Capital Corporation
- The Home Deport
- Limited Credit Services
- Moore Business Communication Services
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- School Districts Insurance Consortium
- Senior Service America, Inc.
- Social Security Administration
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- U.S. Fire Administration
Who will work with you?
Because we’re small, you’ll work with a most experienced communication specialist. Carolyn Boccella Bagin has conducted some of the most high-profile, plain-language projects in the U.S., including developing the Social Security Statement, the model for the Explanation of Medicare Benefits, and several innovative IRS business forms.
Bagin has written, designed, analyzed, and developed hundreds of documents — manuals, handbooks, forms, letters, training materials, and brochures — for such clients as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, NCAA, American Express, GE Capital Corporation, The Home Depot, The Limited Credit Services, Chrysler, and NOAA, among others.
She specializes in revamping forms and notices, working within existing information systems to derive solutions that exceed clients’ expectations. She combines clear language with functional design to develop documents that are easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to process.
She's a member of the Center for Plain Language, Plain Language Association International, Clarity, and the Association for Business Communication.
She works collaboratively with our clients, making sure that projects are on time and on budget, with no surprises.
Some of Carolyn's publications include:
10 Tips for Saving Time and Money on Document-related Projects — and Keeping Staff Happy Along the Way, LinkedIn.
The Case for Clarity to Avoid National Disaster in Healthcare Coverage, LinkedIn
Communicating Clearly with Our Customers and Staff, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, 2014.
Federal Consulting with a Small Business, Association of Professional Communication Consultants, February 2004.
The hidden truth of forms projects, LinkedIn.
How to Create Forms that Get the Job Done, communication briefings: Blackwood, NJ, 1993. (updated edition in progress).
Four Tips to Smooth Organizational Change, LinkedIn.
“Oh Those Formidable Forms,” Modern Maturity, February-March, 1990.
“Plain language pays off for the Social Security Administration,” Clarity, Number 45, December 2000.
“Reading from Computer Screens: How to Make It Easier,” with David Schell, in Biz, May/June 1987, Volume 8, Number 3.
A Review of Credit Card Applications for GE Capital, with Jolene Gustafson and Jolanta Van Doren, for GE Capital Corporation, Document Design Center, American Institutes for Research, May 1992.
Why should you care about bad forms?, LinkedIn.
“Worst Forms Unearthed,” Modern Maturity, February-March, 1991.
Our work has earned kudos and awards
Over the years our work has earned praise from clients and their customers alike.
Some clients reported hearing these comments:
“Wonderful redesign! Easy-to-read and easy-to-understand. Easy to find the info. Kudos to whoever designed this new form!”
“I received my statement in the mail, and just wanted to let someone know that I thought it was very well done. It was clear, comprehensive, and informative, a sign of good government in action. You should be congratulated.”
“This is the first time that I ever got anything from the government that I read all the way through.”
2016 ABC/APCC Award for Excellence in Communication Consulting
The Association for Business Communication and the Association of Professional Communication Consultants honored Bagin for her work with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in the project to simplify bankruptcy forms.
Judges acknowledged her project management, collaboration, and negotiation skills, along with her consistent adherence to plain language and document design principles.
The final set of documents has the potential to make an enormous, demonstrable impact on the judicial system and its users.
We also want to commend you for submitting an award nomination written according to plain language principles. It was a pleasure to read.
2016 ClearMark Award Winner, Legal Documents
Our 6-year project with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to simplify bankruptcy forms for the federal government was honored at the National Press Club by the Center for Plain Language with a category award for long legal documents.
About our work, one of the judges commented:
Overall, this is an amazing job at streamlining and making clear a very complex set of information.
In addition, if individual petitioners use this form they will have a much better understanding of the process (from the instructions) and information required on the form.
Seeing this form makes one wish other government organizations took such care in creating their forms.
We were recognized for Outstanding Service to the Horace Mann League for work on School Performance in Context: The Iceberg Effect - An International Look at the Often-Overlooked Education Indicators.
Also, our redesigned Social Security Statement won Vice President Gore’s Plain Language Award and our work with Westat on the Assertive Community Treatment KIT for SAMHSA won the Society for Technical Communication’s Award of Excellence in the International Technical Publications Competition.
With the American Bar Association, we were a ClearMark award winner for Giving Someone Power of Attorney for Your Health Care: A Guide with an Easy-to-Use, Legal Form for All Adults and we also received the Excellence in Writing for Clients from the Association of Professional Communication Consultants for work with the IRS.
Contact us to find out how we can help: Email Clearly or Email Carolyn