March 12, 2013
Words With Dignity
Often, web developers and others responsible for producing accessible web content are at a loss to describe the various forms of disability their users may be dealing with.
While we always want to avoid labeling any person by their specific disability, we must also recognize the various disabilities people deal with on a daily basis. Using the correct terms eases discussing the needs of these specific users.
Remember, appropriate terminology changes with the times. If in doubt, ask. Most people with a disability will be more than willing to help you. (Pro-Tip: always focus on the person first and not their disability.)
|Disabled, handicapped, crippled||Person(s) with a disability|
|Crippled by, afflicted with, suffering from, victim of, deformed||Person who has… or,
|Lame||Person who is mobility impaired|
|Confined, bound, restricted to or dependent on a wheelchair||Person who uses a wheelchair|
|Deaf and dumb, deaf mute, hearing impaired||Person who is Deaf, hard of hearing|
|Retarded, mentally retarded||Person with a developmental disability|
|Spastic (as a noun)||Person with Cerebral Palsy|
|Physically challenged||Person with a physical disability|
|Mental patient, mentally ill, mental, insane||Person with a mental illness,
Person who has schizophrenia,
Person who has…
|Learning disabled, learning difficulty||Person with a learning disability|
|Visually impaired (as a collective noun)||Persons who are visually impaired, blind|
|Disabled sport||Sport for athletes with disabilities|
|Disabled person/people||Disabled community|
© Active Living Alliance. Reprinted with permission.