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Disabled People

From Draftsperson.net

The following is a list of acceptable terminology:

Contents

Disability

The disadvantage or restriction of activity caused by a society which takes little or no account of people who have impairments and thus excludes them from mainstream activity. Impairment is a characteristic, feature or attribute within an individual which is long term and may or may not be the result of disease, injury or congenital condition.

Disabled People

Those people with impairments who are disabled by society, this includes physically impaired people, people with visual impairments, deaf people, people who are hard of hearing, people with learning disabilities and people who have or have had mental health needs or mental distress. Impairment neither causes or justifies disability, which, like racism, sexism and homophobia, is discrimination and social oppression.

Terminology To Be Avoided:

Able Bodied

The preferred term is ‘non-disabled’. ‘Able -bodied’ suggests that all disabilities are physical and ignores unseen disabilities, and that disabled people are not ‘able’.

Afflicted With

This conveys a tragic or negative view about disability.

Blind

Lumping everyone together in this way is felt by many to take away their individuality. The most appropriate term to use here is ‘people with visual impairments’, or ‘blind people’.

Cripple, Or Crippled By

Use the term ‘the person has...

Deaf And Dumb

This phrase is demeaning and inaccurate. Many deaf people use sign language to communicate and ‘dumb’ implies that someone is stupid. Use ‘ a person with a hearing impairment’, or ‘ a deaf person’, or ‘sign language user’.

Disabled

There is no such thing as ‘the disabled’. Use the term ‘disabled people’.

Handicapped

This term is inappropriate, with images of begging and disabled people being ‘cap in hand’.

Invalid

The term literally means ‘not valid’.

People With Disabilities

The term ‘disabled people’ is the preferred term within the social model of disability. ‘People with disabilities’ infers that the disability ‘belongs’ to the disabled person, rather than ‘disabled person’ which accurately infers that society disables the individual, thus adopting the social model of disability.

Suffering From

This confuses disability with illness and also implies that a disability may be a personal burden. Increasingly, disabled people view their disability as a positive rather that negative experience.

Victim Of

This again plays to a sense that disability is somehow a tragedy.

Wheelchair Bound

Disabled people are not tied into their wheelchairs. People are wheelchair users or someone who uses a wheelchair. A wheelchair offers the freedom to move around and is a valuable tool.


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