I’m an English tutor and the words disability and accessibility has come up, and she asked what do we call people with disabilities. And I immediately thought “disabled”, but now I’m not sure if that’s the correct terminology anymore. So I thought “people with disabilities” was politically correct, but then there’s the word impaired, and I don’t know if “physically impaired” or “mentally impaired” is correct.
I tried asking my mother who is hearing impaired, and she says she’s always used “disabled”, but she’s also over 50.
And then in China, they usually used the English word handicapped, but if they translate directly to Chinese you will sometimes come across a translation that’s “the deformed man toilet”, which I know damn well isn’t right, and I’m trying desperately to teach her the right thing.
@jumpingjacktrash & anyone? help?
‘disabled’ is standard and accepted. i and all the other disabled people i know use it. i wouldn’t use ‘impaired’ as a blanket statement about a person, but leave it for specific descriptions of abilities – he’s hearing-impaired, she has a cognitive impairment, i have impaired mobility. (which is to say, all three of those structures are valid and interchangeable.)
the whole person-first language business, imo, is glurge along the lines of ‘differently abled’ and ‘special’. tumblr discourse and mommy blogs are lousy places to get practical vocabulary. 😛
the one commonly used term i’d not teach would be ‘wheelchair-bound’. it’s doing a well-deserved fade, and people are learning to say ‘wheelchair user’ instead. it’s more accurate (most chair users aren’t paralyzed) and less disempowering (the word ‘bound’ says ‘helpless’, which nobody likes to hear said about themselves).
also you should know the phrase ‘deformed man toilet’ gave me a disturbing yet hilarious mental image of a half-toilet half-man creature, and i’m making a very weird face. 😀
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