|Acceptable Terms||Unacceptable Terms|
|Person with a disability.||Cripple, cripples the image conveyed is of a twisted, deformed, useless body.|
|Disability, a general term used for functional limitation that interferes with a person’s ability, for example, to walk, hear or lift. It may refer to a physical, mental or sensory condition.||Handicap, handicapped person or handicapped.
|People with cerebral palsy, people with spinal cord injuries.||Cerebral palsied, spinal cord injured, etc. Never identify people solely by their disability.|
|Person who had a spinal cord injury, polio, a stroke, etc. or a person who has multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, etc.||Victim: People with disabilities do not like to be perceived as victims for the rest of their lives, long after any victimization has occurred.|
|Has a disability, has a condition of (spina bifida, etc.), or born without legs, etc.
||Defective, defect, deformed, vegetable. These words are offensive, dehumanizing, degrading and stigmatizing.|
|Deafness/hearing impairment. Deafness refers to a person who has a total loss of hearing. Hearing impairment refers to a person who has a partial loss of hearing within a range from slight to severe. Hard of hearing describes a hearing impaired person who communicates through speaking and speech–reading, and who usually has listening and hearing abilities adequate for ordinary telephone communication. Many hard of hearing individuals use a hearing aid.
||Deaf and Dumb is as bad as it sounds. The inability to hear or speak does not indicate intelligence.|
|Person who has a mental or developmental disability.||Retarded, moron, imbecile, idiot. These are offensive to people who bear the label.|
|Use a wheelchair or crutches, a wheelchair user, walks with crutches.||Confined/restricted to a wheelchair, wheelchair bound. Most people who use a wheelchair or mobility devices do not regard them as confining. They are viewed as liberating, a means of getting around.|
|Able–bodied, able to walk, see, hear, etc., people who are not disabled.||Healthy, when used to contrast with “Disabled”. Healthy implies that the person with a disability is unhealthy. Many people with disabilities have excellent health.|
|People who do not have a disability.||Normal: When used as the opposite of disabled, this implies that the person is abnormal. No one wants to be labeled as abnormal.|
|A person who has (name of disability). Example: A person who has multiple sclerosis.||Afflicted with, suffers from. Most people with disabilities do not regard themselves as afflicted or suffering continually. Afflicted: a disability is not an affliction.|
Glossary of Disability Terms
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