A blog about universal and accessible design

Thursday, September 9, 2010

quick and should-be-easy

Memo to journalists, bloggers, and other writers everywhere: language like this is soooo yesterday (or several decades ago):
Polio-stricken architect worked on raising accessibility awareness, from the San Diego Union-Tribune.
"When Berenice Bernard was stricken with polio in 1951...
"Confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life..."
I mean, really? Thanks Blanca Gonzales for covering this woman's obituary, but you couldn't have updated your language?

Here's an easy guide to appropriate language, from the Smithsonian's Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design:

Yes / No
People with disabilities / The handicapped, The disabled
People who are deaf or hard of hearing / The hearing impaired, deaf mute
People who are blind or have low vision / The blind, The sightless

Wheelchair users / Confined to wheelchairs, Wheelchair bound
People with mobility impairments / The crippled, The lame
People with intellectual disabilities / The retarded, The mentally deficient
People with mental illness / schizophrenic (as a generic), the insane
People with learning disabilities / dyslexic (as a generic), the retarded

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