Faculty and Staff
As greater numbers of persons with disabilities take advantage of the opportunities open to them in higher education, it becomes increasingly important that colleges and universities promote an environment that is positive for persons with disabilities. One of the strongest and easiest ways is appropriate language usage.
The recommended manner is known as "person first" language. This means that the person is emphasized first, and the disability second.
|Acceptable Terms||Unacceptable Terms|
|Person with a disability||Handicapped person|
|Individual without speech||Mute, dumb|
|Student who is deaf or hearing-impaired||Deaf student|
|Person who has a mental illness or psychiatric disability||Crazy, schizo, psycho, nuts|
|Student with a developmental disability||Retarded, idiot|
|Individual who uses a wheelchair or wheelchair user||Confined/restricted to a wheelchair, wheelchair bound|
|Student who has a learning disability||Slow learner, learning-disabled|
|Adapted from Springfield Technical Community College - Students with Disabilities in the Classroom: A Resource Guide for Faculty and Staff|
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