Preferred Language

What we say is what we think!

Language is important, none of us want to offend people by the words we use. Much like the Black people’s Movement, the Women’s Movement and the Gay and Lesbian Movement, we are now listening to the language and words that they are choosing to use about themselves. We need to relate this issue to the Disabled People’s Movement and begin to acknowledge the change in language. It has very little to do with political correctness, it’s about respecting people’s feelings and views. It’s about letting disabled people have a voice in deciding how they would prefer to be described. It’s about giving some of the power and control back to Disabled People, so that they are able to build their own identity.

Words that Disabled People find most acceptable.

Disabled People / Person Acknowledgement of the way society disables people.
Behaviours that challenge It is the person receiving the behaviour that finds it challenging.
Wheelchair user
People who are blind etc
People with Cerebral Palsy
These are accurate terms. They will give you some information about the impairment but not the individual.
Accessible toilet, Parking for Blue Badge holders What is a disabled toilet?
Non-disabled people Acknowledges that not everyone is discriminated against on the grounds of their impairment.
Person with an impairment(s) / conditions Used by medical professionals and others when talking about what people have.
People with learning difficulties Preferred term chosen by People First Organisation.
Specific/individual requirements An open question that focuses on the need and not the impairment. Will give you useful information.
P.A. (personal assistant) enablers. Describes what disabled people need to live their life.

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