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Words are important: how to correctly communicate with people with disabilities

According to the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, there are about 3 million people with disabilities in Ukraine. Within a year and a half of the full-scale invasion, the number of people with disabilities increased by 300,000.

Ukrainian society often does not know how to properly communicate with people with disabilities. That is why they are now creating more and more various guides and advice on correct communication. One of them was developed by the media Sho tam? and the RECOVERYua project.

There is a list of rules for what to call people with disabilities / Photo by Junseong Lee on Unsplash

Among Ukrainians, there are many myths about how to call people with disabilities in order to "not offend", "to soften the concept", etc. However, often these self-made" and "folk" words, on the contrary, are offensive and unacceptable.

Read how to correctly call people with disabilities and various phenomena related to this.

Words matter: how to speak

Incorrect: disabled person, disabled person, special person, incapacitated, handicapped, wheelchair user.

Correct: a person with a disability.

Incorrect: cart, trolley, wheelchair.

Correct: wheelchair.

Incorrect: blind, visually impaired person.

Correct: person with visual impairment, person with vision loss (total or partial).

Incorrect: deaf, hearing-impaired, deaf-mute.

Correct: person with hearing impairment. a person with hearing loss.

Incorrect: bedridden person, wheelchair-bound person.

Correct: a person with impaired motor functions.

It is important to remember that in speech, you should always put the person first, and not his diagnosis or disorder. Also, do not use offensive language: forget about the words "features", "flaws", etc.


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