Some words that are used to describe disability (often learnt as a child) are hurtful. Here are some of the right things to say.
When a person has a disability, it doesn’t define who they are.
Some words that are used to describe people with a disability (perhaps learnt as a child) can be hurtful.
Here are some of the right and wrong ways of talking about a person with a disability.
Avoid normal person
Use person without a disability
Avoid disabled, handicapped, invalid, special needs, defected, deformed
Use person with a disability
Avoid retarded, tard, moron, intellectually challenged
Use person with an intellectual disability
Avoid mongol, mongoloid, mong, downsy
Use person with Down syndrome
Avoid spastic, spaz
Use person with a disability, person with cerebral palsy
Avoid paraplegic, quadriplegic
Use person with paraplegia, person with quadriplegia
Avoid confined to a wheelchair, wheelchair bound
Use uses a wheelchair
Avoid cripple, physically challenged
Use physical disability
Avoid dwarf, midget, little person, vertically challenged
Use short-statured person
Avoid insane, lunatic, maniac, mental, psycho, psychopath, crazy, skitzo
Use person with a mental illness
Use mental health clinic
When you’re talking with a person who has a disability, just be yourself. Make sure you: