Disability can be a sensitive topic.
Fear of saying the wrong thing when in dialogue with people with disabilities prevents people from saying anything at all. Therefore we avoid having important conversations about disability. This avoidance in turn can create a toxic environment.
Many disabled people say they experience discrimination and are routinely denied the rights we all know they are entitled to.
People with disabilities are equal citizens. In our research we found some guidelines to help readers gain confidence in their ability to participate in positive ways in the dialogue with people with disabilities.
What to avoid.
Avoid objectifying people by referring to them as “the disabled.” Listen to how people talk about their disability themselves and take your cue from them.
The word handicap or handicapped is viewed as having a negative connotation — an implication that people with disabilities are disadvantaged in society.
Avoid calling a disabled person a ‘patient’
A patient is a passive individual who has turned over responsibility for important decisions to a health professional. People with disabilities for the most part live independent lives in the community.
Avoid calling non-disabled people ‘normal’
If non-disabled people are normal, then that means that disabled people are abnormal. Yet disability is the norm for some people.
Here are some positive things you can do.
Look people with disabilities in the eyes and address them courteously, as you would anyone else.
Ask if you can help, and how you can help.
Assume that people with disabilities have something to say and be prepared to hear it.
Talk about disability. It’s a fact of life. The more we talk about it, the easier it gets to have the important conversations we need to have with disabled people.
Always put the person first.
When writing or speaking about people with disabilities it is important to put the person first. Catch-all phrases such as ‘the blind’, ‘the deaf’ or ‘the disabled, do not reflect the individuality, equality or dignity of people with disabilities.
Listed below are some recommendations for use when describing, speaking or writing about people with disabilities.
Some examples of appropriate terms and terms no longer in use.
- The disabled
People with disabilities or disabled people
Person who uses a wheelchair
- The handicapped
Disabled person, person with a disability
- Mental handicap
- Suffers from (e.g. asthma)
Has (e.g. asthma)
For more information on people with disabilities in your country please follow the link’s below:
http://nda.ie/About-Us/ – Ireland
https://www.nds.org.au/ – Australia
https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/ – United Kingdom
If you would like to purchase your own Uccello Kettle, please follow the link below: