Put the person
before the disability. For example, use "people with disabilities"
as opposed to "disabled people" or "the disabled."
Do not use phrases
such as "confined to a wheelchair," "crippled,"
"afflicted," "victim of" or "suffers from
a disorder." These references diminish the individuals
dignity and magnify the disability. Instead, refer to "the person
who uses a wheelchair" or "the person with an emotional
Avoid using trendy
euphemisms to describe people with disabilities. Expressions such
as "physically challenged," "special" and "handi
capable" generally are regarded by the disability community as
patronizing and inaccurate. Stick with simple language, such as "people
with disabilities" or "the person who is deaf."
Deaf refers to profound hearing loss. "Hard of hearing"
may be used to describe any degree of hearing loss, from slight to
profound. Avoid using "hearing impaired."
used to characterize a physical, mental or physiological loss, abnormality
or injury that causes a limitation in one or more major life functions.
For example, "The loss of her right arm was only a slight impairment
to her ability to drive."
to a functional limitation that affects an individuals ability
to perform certain functions. For example, it is correct to say, "Despite
his disability, he still was able to maintain employment."
a barrier or problem created by society or the environment. For example,
"The teachers negative attitude was a handicap to her."
Or, "The stairs leading to the stage were a handicap to him."
Blind most frequently
is used to describe a severe vision loss. Either blind or low vision
are acceptable terms to describe all degrees of vision loss.
disability is any severe mental and/or physical disorder that began
before age 22 and continues indefinitely. Individuals with mental
retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other similar long-term
disability may be considered to have developmental disabilities.
is a term describing many forms of illnesses such as schizophrenia,
depression and emotional disorders. Use "person with a mental
disability" rather than referring to an individual as "deranged"
or "deviant." Clinical terms such as "neurotic"
and "psychotic" should be used only for clinical writing.
Other terms such as "demented," "insane," "abnormal,"
"deranged" and "mad" often are used incorrectly
and should be avoided.
AND TERMINOLOGY SOURCES:
Functional Assessment in Rehabilitation
Goodwill Industries of America