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, fit
Read through the terms in the table and then do the tasks which follow.
Recommended Norwegian Terms
Terms to Avoid
Norwegian Terms to Avoid
the disabled, the handicapped
has + name of impairment
afflicted by, suffers from
crippled, invalid, physically handicapped
confined to a wheelchair
person with cerebral palsy
person with mental condition
mental patient, insane, mad
person with hearing impairment
deaf and dumb, deaf mute
blind people, people with visual impairment
person with restricted growth or short stature
What are the equivalent terms in Norwegian? Fill in the table showing the recommended Norwegian terms and those which should be avoided.
If you need some help, click here.
- 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.