If you’re writing about people with disabilities, if you can, ask how they’d like to be identified. Make the determination if it is necessary to mention disability. Keep in mind that disability is a natural part of the human condition. It can happen at any point in a person’s life.
- Generally, a person isn’t defined by their disability. Try not to make them feel like that is the most important thing about them.
- “A person who has a disability” rather than “a disabled person.” Or, “someone living with [disability or medical condition].” For example, “A person with epilepsy” not “an epileptic person.”
- “A person who uses a wheelchair,” not “a wheelchair-bound person.”
- Use the phrase “autistic people” rather than “people with autism” or “people that have autism.” Saying people “have” autism can make it sound like it’s a bad thing.
- Avoid words that have negative connotations towards people who have a mental or physical disability — words like handicapped, afflicted, stricken, suffers from, victim, retarded, invalid, crazy, insane, etc.
- If someone has an almost complete or total loss of vision, refer to them as blind or visually impaired.
- Use a capital “D” when writing about Deaf culture.
- Use a lowercase “d” when writing about hearing loss.
- Use d/Deaf when speaking about someone who identifies as deaf, but you don’t know whether they consider themselves within the Deaf community.
- For example, “John, a d/Deaf student…”
- It is best to say “hard of hearing” rather than “hearing impaired” or “hearing loss.”
- It is best to use “congenital disability” instead of “birth defect.”
- In your marketing, have something for participants to ask for accommodations. Say, “For accommodations, contact [your event coordinator’s name and email].”
- If you are going to have strobe lighting at your events, please include an epilepsy warning in your event marketing and promotions.
- Make sure web content meets Boise State accessibility standards.
- It’s important to use captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions for all videos.