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Making Information easy to understand is Important, Especially for Our Senior CitizensDate: 08/22/2018
Daphne Clements is part of the Division of Aging, Adult, and Behavioral Health Services (DAABHS) staff. Clements, who’s been with the Department of Human Services (DHS) for five years, is a policy development coordinator. She graduated from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock where she earned a Master’s in Technical and Expository Writing.
Daphne, an avid reader and star gazer, answered three questions about the role she plays in helping DAABHS fulfill its mission.
DHS Matters: What are your primary responsibilities for DAABHS?
Daphne: As a writer and editor, I collaborate with all aging and adult services staff during each stage of the writing process. That process includes, brainstorming, drafting, and editing. I voice the questions that our audiences may have internally or externally. The genres we write include policy, procedures, newsletters, brochures, reports, grants, letters, web pages, organizational charts, and other functional writing activities.
DHS Matters: Why are your duties for DHS so important and which Arkansans does your job impact the most?
Daphne: When we create documents that all people can understand by using plain language, we succeed in helping Arkansans learn about our programs and services. While our programs and services impact older Arkansans and adults with disabilities, we aim to empower all people who care about our clients.
DHS Matters: Describe a moment when you realized how important your job is for DHS?
Daphne: When Medicaid merged ElderChoices and Alternatives for Adults with Physical Disabilities, those programs became the current ARChoices program January 1, 2016. The former brochures were written in bureaucratic language. Instead, I saw an opportunity to create a brochure to explain the merger using plain language – where it's easy for everyone to understand. I emailed the brochure to AARP, Area Agencies on Aging, all Division of County Operations offices as well as Aging and Adult Services staff. I received several emails from people within DHS and outside DHS thanking me for sharing this brochure with them because it helped them understand this major change and empowered them to better explain the change to existing and new clients.