RE: The Difficulty of Talking About Accessibility for the *

Hi Kynn,

It happens to all of us when we first venture forth into a new culture - any

Some short form guidelines off the top of my head for referring to people
who have disabilities

1) you can't please everyone
2) you can avoid pejorative terms or phrases that are widely disliked
3) use the standard "people term" (e.g. person, user, programmer, shopper,
etc)  first and a descriptor second
     ( e.g.
        - a user who is blind    rather than a blind user
        - an shopper who is hard of hearing or deaf    rather than a deaf
        - a discount for members with a disability    rather than for
disabled members.
4) Use  "hard of hearing" or "deaf"  rather than "hearing impaired"   (Many
do not see or think of themselves as being impaired,  just different.)
5) Use "low vision" or "blind(ness)"  rather than "visually impaired"
6) Do not use "handicapped"   ( it derives from cap-in-hand")
7) Do not use "challenged"  (it is suggested by some but most find it
8) Try to avoid referring to "the blind", or "the disabled"   ( again use
"people who are blind or have a disability")
9) Try to discuss people who have disabilities as "those of us with
disabilities" rather than as "them"

There are some great pieces written on this.  I'll look for the references.

-- ------------------------------
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Professor - Human Factors
Dept of Ind. Engr. - U of Wis.
Director - Trace R & D Center,
FAX 608/262-8848
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Received on Tuesday, 29 September 1998 19:50:29 UTC