NSU Publications Style Manual

53 Unhandicapping Our Language This adaptation of Unhandicapping Our Language by Paul K. Longmore, Ph.D., and Dianne B. Piastro, (Living with a Disability, 1988) is included for reference. Objectionable Why Preferable (the) disabled Sees people only in terms of disabilities people with disabilities (the) mentally Robs us of individuality by lumping people persons with mental retarded into one undifferentiated category retardation (the) deaf Humanizing nouns emphasize the person deaf citizens (the) blind, etc. Same as above blind people abnormal Sees people with disabilities as less than others none is needed (birth) defected, defective Describes an object, dehumanizes a person congenital disability Ms. Smith is an Sees someone as an object of medical care Ms. Smith has arthritis arthritic patient FDR was afflicted Connotes helplessness, dependency, defeat FDR had polio with, stricken with, or Denies other aspects of the person suffers from polio “Victim” of Connotes pity State the facts: FDR had polio INvalid (From the same root as VALid). Inaccurate none is needed as most people with disabilities aren’t sickly deaf and dumb, deafmute, Implies that mental incapacitation occurs with deaf, hearing-impaired, dummy hearing loss and/or speech impairment speech-impaired sightless, four eyes, Inaccurate, demeaning blind, partially sighted, blind as a bat vision-impaired cripple, crippled, crip No epithet is more offensive to people with FDR has a physical physical disabilities (from Old English “to creep”); disability (or) FDR had a second meaning of this adjective is “inferior” polio confined to a wheelchair; Creates a false impression: wheelchairs wheelchair user; uses a wheelchairbound; liberate, not confine or bind; they are wheelchair; wheelchair using wheelchaired mobility tools from which people transfer to sleep, sit in chairs, drive cars, etc. Handel was epileptic; Such usage sees people as their disabilities; Handel had epilepsy; Renoir was arthritic; inaccurate reference; a person is not a condition Renoir had arthritis midget, dwarf Mythical, denies reality, infantilizing, patronizing short-statured person deformed, misshapen Connotes repulsive oddity has a physical disability; hunchbacked has spinal curvature

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