Talking About Disabilities
Why is it important to be aware of the words and phrases that we use when talking to disabled people? Do you know the correct terminology to use? Below you will find both recommended terms and terms to avoid.
Words convey images and feelings and influence the way people think. The choice of negative language when describing disabled people can injure feelings and create barriers to understanding.
recommend, mandatory, avoid, impairment, afflict, suffer, cripple, invalid, confine, spastic, insane, dumb, mute, restrict, stature, seizure, spell, fitHide
Tasks and Activities
|Recommended Terms||Recommended Norwegian Terms ||Terms to Avoid||Norwegian Terms to Avoid|
|disabled people||the disabled, the handicapped|
|has + name of impairment||afflicted by, suffers from|
|disabled person||crippled, invalid, physically handicapped|
|wheelchair user||confined to a wheelchair|
|person with cerebral palsy||spastic|
|person with mental condition||mental patient, insane, mad|
|person with hearing impairment||deaf and dumb, deaf mute|
|blind people, people with visual impairment||the blind|
|person with restricted growth or short stature||dwarf midget|
- What are the equivalent terms in Norwegian? Fill in the table showing the recommended Norwegian terms and those which should be avoided.
- Here is more useful vocabulary. Try the pair off task:
- Describe the three pictures of people with a disability using recommended terminology.
- Oral work, in pairs: Each person choose to be one of the disabled people in the pictures. You are meeting for the first time:
- greet each other
- tell each other a little about yourself using some of the terms above
- ask and answer about the availability of facilities for disabled people at your school or workplace
- What is the difference between the terms, "disabled people" and "people with disabilities"? Is the one to be preferred over the other?
- Many of the terms to be avoided are often found in daily use and in the media. Search the Internet for examples (use some of the words to be avoided as search words) and discuss whether the examples you find are used in a derogatory way.
Recommended Autobiography and Film
My Left Foot by Christy Brown, My Left Foot - Novel, Film and Art.
Nodes which use this node
- English subject curriculum
- understand and use a wide general vocabulary and an academic vocabulary related to his/her own education programme
- understand the main content and details of different types of oral texts about general and academic topics related to one’s education programme
- express oneself fluently and coherently in a detailed and precise manner suited to the purpose and situation
- ENGLISH – PROGRAMME SUBJECT IN PROGRAMMES FOR SPECIALIZATION IN GENERAL STUDIES