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21.06.2018
Strategic planning
CIL Serbia organised a workshop More...
20.06.2018
Annual Assembly
CIL Serbia held its Annual Assembly More...
17.06.2018
PA Training
CIL Serbia organised two trainings More...
18.05.2018
ReLOaD Programmee
Representatives from 17 CSOs signed contracts More...
07.05.2018
IL DAY 2018
This IL Day was marked More...

Stop Saying 'Wheelchair-Bound' And Other Outdated And Offensive Terms To People With Disabilities


Posted: 11/01/2013

By Zachary Fenell, the Mobility Resource

Discussing disabilities may feel like trying to avoid metaphorical tripwires.

One innocent misstep and an able-bodied person may receive a tongue lashing just for saying “handicap vehicle” instead of “wheelchair accessible vehicle.”

To help you sidestep situations like the one above, note the following tips when discussing disabilities.

1) Realize wheelchairs enable.

“Wheelchair-bound,” how often do you see that phrase and other similar ones in the mainstream media? Such word choice represents a popular misconception.

Don’t feel bad though, mainstream media. I used to deploy said words, at least until I really started to with my writing delve into the disability niche. Companies like Disaboom and The Mobility Resource educated me on the truth. Wheelchairs enable. A wheelchair increases accessibility and therefore opportunities. Quite the opposite from binding.

2) Empowered suffering.

Another pet peeve of mine is when the mainstream media calls someone with a disability a “sufferer” or “victim.” I live with cerebral palsy (CP) but I don’t consider myself suffering. Instead as I write in my article 5 Ways Cerebral Palsy Benefits Me my CP ended up an empowering force in my life.

3) Different people prefer different terminology.

Certain principals like the two aforementioned reside universally within the disability community. However, different people prefer different terminology. Personally I consider “disability” and “handicap” acceptable. I will use them interchangeably too. Yet others adamantly refuse to use “handicap.” Heck, many hate “disability” and prefer the politically correct phrase “differently-abled.” To overcome these different preferences requires an open mind and patience. Open your mind to different opinions and stay patient.

4) Maintain a person-first narrative.

Maintaining a person-first narrative offers another critical tip. No matter the word you use, aim to showcase the person. Ideally a person’s name will always come before his or her condition. So I’m Zachary Fenell, an author with cerebral palsy. Not, an author with cerebral palsy, Zachary Fenell. Introducing name first, condition second will maintain a person-first narrative.

5) Individuality matters.

A person-first narrative gives way to the final tip today, individuality matters. Labels always contain inefficiencies. Take the classifications “differently-abled” and “able-bodied.” Doesn’t calling people with disabilities “differently-abled” infer people without disabilities don’t differ from each other?

Disability or not each person holds a characteristic marking him or her exclusively unique. Ultimately, individuality transcends any possible label you could choose.


03.11.2013

All news:

When a Little Girl Felt Sorry for My Son
PA training in Vrsac
7 Microaggressions Disabled Folks Face at the Doctor’s Office—and 6 Ways to Fix Them
The 12 Pillars of Independent Living
The social model of disability
Hidden Limits
Dear Society, Why Don’t You See Different as Beautiful?
Myths and Facts About People with Disabilities
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2014
Licencing
EU Delegation in Serbia supported the increasing of political participation of persons with disabilities and the impact on policy development in Serbia
National Conference
Accredited Program of Education for Personal Assistants working in five cities in Serbia
CIL Serbia held its Presidency and the Assembly meetings
Jointly forces for economic and political empowerment of persons with disability
With joint forces of political and economic empowerment of persons with disabilities
"Public sector for all citizens"
Combining the strengths: Jointly for political and economic empowerment of persons with disabilities - EIDHR
Combining the strengths: Jointly for political and economic empowerment of persons with disabilities - EIDHR
Combining the strengths: Jointly for political and economic empowerment of persons with disabilities - EIDHR
"Walk of Shame on 5 May" - Save the date
Autism Awareness
SEMINAR – COMMUNICATION AND NEGOTIATING SKILLS
Donation of natural supplements
PROUD OF WHAT WE DO IN PAST 10 YEARS ( and a few more)
Establishing an informal parliamentary group for improving the status, position and quality of life of persons with disabilities ( PWDs Group )
International Day of persons with disability marked in Serbian National Assembly
DISABILITY IS NOT THE QUESTION OF CHOICE – YOUR ATTITUDE IS
Advocacy and local support networks building
Workshop on social enterpreneurship
Stop Saying 'Wheelchair-Bound' And Other Outdated And Offensive Terms To People With Disabilities
ANTI POVERTY NETWORK SERBIA
INTENSIVE EDUCATION
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2013
Voice for equality
A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015
Sustainable support services for PWDs in Serbia
FORCED STERILISATION FINDINGS
Accessibility as a human right
Regional Balkan network of DPOs
Pravilnici
By laws
State of the World's Children
Process of adoption of the Law on Personal Assistance in Slovenia
Every child needs a teacher
Hall of Fame: Gordana Rajkov, CIL Serbia
INNOSERVIS
REGIONAL SEMINAR
Round tables
ENIL’s key definitions on Independent Living



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