Dignified & Correct terminologies- words are powerful

Words have an immense power they can easily make or break a person. A word is very powerful and we often underestimate its power.
Of late I have been reading a lot of blogs describing people with disability as “differently able” which angers me a lot because I want to be referred to as person first not different because I have a disability. This is my opinion and opinions are not facts that can’t be proved wrong.

While addressing people with disabilities, knowingly or unknowingly, many of us use undignified and incorrect terminologies. These words will play a negative impact on both the personal and professional development of people with disabilities. This got me thinking there must be data for correct and dignified terminology, here are some I found;

 

Incorrect (out-dated, undignified ) Correct (Dignified)
  • ·         Handicapped, Disabled, Abnormal, Differently Able, special
 

Persons with Disabilities, People with Disability

 

  • ·         Normal Person, Healthy Person
Person without Disability
  • ·         Crippled, Lame, invalid
Person with Physical Disability
  • ·         Blind
Person who is Blind, Visually Impaired Person
  • ·         Deaf, Mute, tongue-tied
Person who is deaf, Person with Hearing Impairments, Person who is unable to speak, non-verbal
  • ·         Wheelchair bound, confined or restricted to a wheelchair
Person who uses a wheelchair, wheelchair user
  • ·         Crazy, Insane, Psycho, Mentally ill
Person with Psychiatric disability, emotional disorder, behavior disorder, person with mental illness
  • ·         Mentally Retarded, Retarded, Slow, Idiot, mentally defective, moron, slow, imbecile, feeble-minded, Down’s person
Person with Intellectual Disabilities
   

*THIS IS NO WAY  AN EXSUSTIVE LIST  please see

http://www.cpdusu.org/about/committee/awareness/

http://www.nfdn.org.np/advocacy-documents/dignified-terminologies-pwds.html

http://www.courts.ca.gov/partners/documents/7-terminology.pdf

http://nda.ie/Publications/Attitudes/Appropriate-Terms-to-Use-about-Disability/

http://www.onestops.info/article.php?article_id=14

http://www.miusa.org/sites/default/files/documents/resource/Respectful%20Disability%20Language.pdf

Things to remember

  • Individuals with disabilities are people!
  • Individuals with disabilities are whole people!
  • They expect to be treated with the same dignity and respect that you do.
  • Just because someone has a disability does not mean he/she is disabled.

Disability vs. Handicap

A disability is a condition caused by such things as an accident or trauma, disease, or genetics that limits a person’s vision, hearing, speech, mobility, or mental function.
A handicap is a constraint imposed upon a person, regardless of that person’s ability or disability. These constraints can be physical or attitudinal. For example, stairs and curbs are handicaps imposed on those who use wheelchairs.
Always remember that the person is not the condition. Keep all your speech person focused, not disability focused.

We live we learn but most importantly we learn for life is always changing always evolving. 

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22 thoughts on “Dignified & Correct terminologies- words are powerful

  1. Namrata says:

    That was something which had to be said. It’s beautiful how you brought to light something so important that many of us consider of trifle importance. It was a much needed post. Keep writing 🙂

    Like

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