Take out your No. 2 pencils and get ready for a pop quiz!
Question: Is handicapped bathroom the proper term for restrooms with the blue, wheelchair placard on them?
Answer: No. It’s accessible bathroom.
Question: What’s the proper phrase – Downs person or person who has Down syndrome?
Answer: Person who has down syndrome
Question: Which is correct – Special Olympics athletes are disabled or Special Olympics athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities?
Answer: Special Olympics athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities
Are you beginning to see a pattern? Thanks to the friends and athletes of Special Olympics and the work of places like The Arc (a national advocacy organization for people with disabilities), the way people with disabilities are talked about is changing – and for the better!
Special Olympics emphasizes people-first language. People are people first. They’re not disabled, stupid, different, etc. Characteristics don’t define anyone. Children and adults with disabilities are often misjudged or defined by their disability which can be insensitive and hurtful.
After that little tutorial (that came to use from Ms. Flack’s lesson plan, which you can see here), are you ready to try your hand at some more people-first language questions?
|SAY THIS||NOT THIS|
|Person who has (been diagnosed with)||person who suffers from, is afflicted by…|
|Accessible parking, bathrooms, etc.||handicapped parking, bathrooms, etc.|
|People with disabilities||the handicapped, the disabled|
|People without disabilities||___________________________|
|Person diagnosed with a cognitive disability||___________________________|
|Student who receives SPED services||___________________________|
|___________________________||wheelchair bound, confined to a wheelchair|
|Person with a visual impairment||___________________________|
And don’t forget, you can take part in national Spread the Word to End the R-Word Day by taking the pledge to end the r-word! Click here to take the pledge!