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Respecting People with Disabilities

Others prefer Person-First Language. Examples of Identity-First Language include identifying someone as a deaf person instead of a person who is deaf , or an autistic person instead of a person with autism.


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Do not use language that portrays the person as passive or suggests a lack of something: victim , invalid , defective. Terms like differently-abled , challenged , handi-capable or special are often considered condescending.

Examples of offensive language include freak, retard, lame, imbecile, vegetable, cripple, crazy, or psycho. In discussions that include people both with and without disabilities, do not use words that imply negative stereotypes of those with disabilities.

People with disabilities can be healthy, although they may have a chronic condition such as arthritis or diabetes. Only refer to someone as a patient when his or her relationship with a health care provider is under discussion. Much work needs to be done to break down stigma around psychiatric disabilities.

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The American Psychiatric Association has new guidelines for communicating responsibly about mental health. Do not make assumptions by saying a person with a disability is heroic or inspiring because they are simply living their lives. Stereotypes may raise false expectations that everyone with a disability is or should be an inspiration.

People may be inspired by them just as they may be inspired by anyone else. Everyone faces challenges in life.

Accessibility links

The fact that someone is blind or uses a wheelchair may or may not be relevant to the article you are writing. Only identify a person as having a disability if this information is essential to the story. Tearjerkers about incurable diseases, congenital disabilities or severe injury that are intended to elicit pity perpetuate negative stereotypes.

Advice and Guidance. What is on this page? Have you suffered from disability discrimination? What is disability discrimination? What the Equality Act says about disability discrimination What is classed as a disability? Different types of disability discrimination Circumstances when being treated differently due to disability is lawful What else does the Equality Act protect against? Who is this page for? The discrimination does not have to be intentional to be unlawful. What the Equality Act says about disability discrimination.

The Equality Act says that you must not be discriminated against because: you have a disability someone thinks you have a disability this is known as discrimination by perception you are connected to someone with a disability this is known as discrimination by association It is not unlawful discrimination to treat a disabled person more favourably than a non-disabled person. What is classed as a disability? Different types of disability discrimination. There are six main types of disability discrimination: direct discrimination indirect discrimination failure to make reasonable adjustments discrimination arising from disability harassment victimisation Direct discrimination This happens when someone treats you worse than another person in a similar situation because of disability.

For example: during an interview, a job applicant tells the potential employer that he has multiple sclerosis. For example: a job advert states that all applicants must have a driving licence.

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This puts some disabled people at a disadvantage because they may not have a licence because, for example, they have epilepsy. If the advert is for a bus driver job, the requirement will be justified. If it is for a teacher to work across two schools, it will be more difficult to justify Failure to make reasonable adjustments Under the Equality Act employers and organisations have a responsibility to make sure that disabled people can access jobs, education and services as easily as non-disabled people.

For example: an employee with mobility impairment needs a parking space close to the office. However, her employer only gives parking spaces to senior managers and refuses to give her a designated parking space What is reasonable depends on a number of factors, including the resources available to the organisation making the adjustment. Discrimination arising from disability The Equality Act also protects people from discrimination arising from disability.

For example: a private nursery refuses to give a place to a little boy because he is not toilet trained. She plans to ask the Anchorage Assembly for just that at its regular meeting this coming Tuesday.


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