Effective February 25, 2005, OSERS Communications and Media Support Services staff and OSERS Control Correspondence Unit staff in the Office of the Assistant Secretary were merged into a new organization named the Communications and Customer Service (CCS) Team. This change streamlines OSERS' communications and customer service efforts by moving two related work functions into one centralized unit. It also enhances OSERS efforts to respond to customers in a cohesive, coordinated manner.
CCS serves OSERS and its constituents from strategic, communications and technical standpoints in the following major functional areas:
- Public Liaison
CCS is tasked with researching and developing effective communications strategies to best serve and communicate with OSERS' diverse constituencies. In its public liaison role, CCS serves as the designated public relations arm of the OSERS assistant secretary and his immediate staff. CCS communicates the assistant secretary's vision and goals to internal and external audiences and assures that these messages are incorporated into communications products developed throughout the organization.
- Information Product Development
CCS is designed to meet the information product development and production needs of OSERS. In this technical, or "service bureau," role, CCS serves to develop and produce a wide range of information products for OSERS constituencies. Specific product design, development and production functions include: graphics, multimedia, desktop publishing and alternate format (Braille and audio cassette taping) development.
- Electronic Information Dissemination
CCS is involved in all aspects of the dissemination of OSERS' information products. This includes not only the more traditional media such as print and other hardcopy formats, but also the use of electronic media as typified by the Internet and the World Wide Web. CCS serves as the Web master for the OSERS' Web site area on the ED.gov Web site, coordinating all aspects of OSERS' Web site presence and online information.
- Executive Correspondence
CCS serves as the central repository for OSERS official correspondence signed by the Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary or their designee. Within that function, major responsibilities include providing assistance to OSERS' three program offices; processing letters referred from the Secretary's office for reply; opening and date-stamping mail addressed to the Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary; reviewing mail to determine which component should provide the response; and entering mail into the tracking system and assigning a due date.
- Customer Information and Referral
CMSS responds to external inquiries for information through the Clearinghouse on Disability Information, and makes informed referrals to subject matter experts as warranted. This includes providing appropriate information resources from within OSERS. This may also include referral to other appropriate resources, within the Department, to other agencies, or to state, local or private-sector entities.
Director: Paul Steenen