Respect, written on glass in front of a while board

Words With Dignity

The following terms are suggested to describe people with disabilities.

Remember, appropriate terminology changes with the times. If in doubt, ask.


Instead of...
Use..

Disabled, handicapped, crippled
Person with a disability, people with disabilities

Crippled by, afflicted with, suffering from, deformed
Person who has... Or, Person with...

Lame
Person who has a mobility impairment

Confined, bound, restricted to a wheelchair
Person who uses a wheelchair

Deaf and dumb, deaf mute, hearing impaired
Person who is... Deaf; ...hard of hearing

Retarded, mentally retarded
Person with an intellectual disability

Spastic (as a noun)
Person with cerebral palsy

Physically challenged
Person with a physical disability

Mental patient, mentally ill, mental, insane
Person who has... a mental illness; ... schizophrenia

Learning disabled, learning difficulty
Person with a learning disability

Visually impaired (as a collective noun), blind
People who have a visual impairment

Disabled sport
Sport for athletes with disabilities

Disabled community
Disability community