CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

APPROPRIATE TERMINOLOGY

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APPROPRIATE TERMINOLOGY

People with disabilities prefer that you focus on their abilities, not
their disabilities.  The term "Handicapped" is falling into disuse and
should be avoided. The terms " able- bodied, "physically challenged, "and
"differently abled," are also discouraged. The following are some
recommendations:


	  Do not use the article THE with an 
	  adjective to describe people with 
	  disabilities.

	  NOT the deaf 
	  NOT the visually impaired.


The preferred usage, "people with disabilities," stresses the essential
humanity of individuals and avoids objectification. Alternatively, the
term "disabled people" is acceptable, but note that this term still
defines people as disabled first, and people second.

	  USE people who are deaf
	  USE people who are visually impaired


If it is appropriate to refer to a person's disability, choose the correct
terminology for the specific disability.

People who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, mentally
retarded, physically disabled. People with or who have cerebral palsy;
downs syndrome; mental illness; paraplegia; quadriplegia; partial hearing
loss; seizure disorder; specific learning disability; speech impairment.

	  Be careful not to imply that people with 
	  disabilities are to be pitied, feared, or 
	  ignored, or that they are somehow more 
	  heroic, courageous, patient or "special" 
	  than others. Do not use the term "normal" 
	  in contrast.


	  NOT Chris held her own while swimming with normal children.

	  USE Chris qualified for her "Swimmer" certificate.


A person in a wheelchair is a "wheelchair user" or "uses a wheelchair".

Avoid terms that define the disability as a limitation.

	  Do not use the terms "victim" or 
	  "sufferer" to refer to a person who has 
	  had a disease or disability. This term 
	  dehumanizes the person and emphasizes 
	  powerlessness.


	  NOT victim of AIDS or AIDS sufferer
	  USE person with HIV/AIDS

	  NOT Polio victim
	  USE had polio