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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Watch your language?
the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I'd like to ask exactly where it is now 'official' to use the term 'differently abled' - that would suggest it's printed on official documents. I have never seen it. It always seemed a clumsy and rather unnecessary and rather patronising term.

I don't ever come across regular use of 'differently abled' in Australia, where the current norm is to use people-first language - i.e. one 'person with a disability' or many 'people with disabilities' - which also applies readily as a general guide to areas other than disability, like autism or asthma. The point made well with this terminology is to place the emphasis on people with disabilities still being people, as opposed to 'the disabled' which patronises and dehumanises.

I disagree about 'differently abled' being patronising, it was a deliberate attempt to get people seeing people with disabilities as fellow humans who are deserving of the same human rights as everybody else for the first time and it worked. Even if it's not in common usage now (in Australia, it may still be the accepted form in other places) that it's been superseded by 'people with disabilities,' it sure was helpful in getting to that point. It does still come up from time to time, usually only as a form of proud self-identification held by many differently abled people, or in the context of written articles which are engaging with and advocating for people with disabilities.


One very positive by-product of the shift away from using the dehumanising 'disabled' is that facilities which might have previously been termed 'disabled toilets' or 'disabled car park spaces' are now referred to as 'accessible toilets' and so on. This is good, because it opens up the use of accessible facilities to all who need them, rather than implying that its use is only for people who have some condition that would be commonly defined as a disability. Good accessibility should be for everyone!

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
One very positive by-product of the shift away from using the dehumanising 'disabled' is that facilities which might have previously been termed 'disabled toilets' or 'disabled car park spaces' are now referred to as 'accessible toilets' and so on. This is good, because it opens up the use of accessible facilities to all who need them, rather than implying that its use is only for people who have some condition that would be commonly defined as a disability. Good accessibility should be for everyone!

The usage, 'Disabled toilet' irritates me for a quite different reason. Its more natural meaning is 'a toilet that has been the equivalent of switched off', i.e. don't use it; it doesn't flush. 'Disabled car park spaces' ought to = car spaces that have been suspended from use for some reason.

It's like the notice one often sees, 'This door is alarmed'. Is it? What about?

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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
One very positive by-product of the shift away from using the dehumanising 'disabled' is that facilities which might have previously been termed 'disabled toilets' or 'disabled car park spaces' are now referred to as 'accessible toilets' and so on. This is good, because it opens up the use of accessible facilities to all who need them, rather than implying that its use is only for people who have some condition that would be commonly defined as a disability. Good accessibility should be for everyone!

The usage, 'Disabled toilet' irritates me for a quite different reason. Its more natural meaning is 'a toilet that has been the equivalent of switched off', i.e. don't use it; it doesn't flush. 'Disabled car park spaces' ought to = car spaces that have been suspended from use for some reason.

It's like the notice one often sees, 'This door is alarmed'. Is it? What about?

For similar reasons 'accessible toilet' irritates me. For the vast majority of people all toilets are accessible, how else are you supposed to make use of them?

(I've put aside for the moment the fact that men aren't allowed to access the ladies and vice versa.)

[ 07. January 2013, 11:53: Message edited by: Anglican't ]

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Gwai
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
For similar reasons 'accessible toilet' irritates me. For the vast majority of people all toilets are accessible, how else are you supposed to make use of them?

I think accessible is short for accessible to all. The point is that the other toilets are not all accessible to all. This one is.

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
For similar reasons 'accessible toilet' irritates me. For the vast majority of people all toilets are accessible, how else are you supposed to make use of them?

(I've put aside for the moment the fact that men aren't allowed to access the ladies and vice versa.)

I haven't seen that one, but I agree. Euphemisms should not themselves be misleading or ambiguous. Perhaps people should make a point of deliberately going in the wrong one!

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orfeo

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Well folks, if you want to take up a position as a signwriter and find a way to fit the technically accurate phrases such as "toilet for people with disabilities who cannot access ordinary toilets" into a reasonable space while making it a reasonable size for people with vision impairment (oh, and a Braille version underneath please) then knock yourselves out.

Perfection is the enemy of practicality sometimes.

[ 07. January 2013, 12:26: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
if you continue to use an offensive, racist word after learning that it is offensive and racist, then it's hard not to conclude you're a racist.

That would be so if the offensiveness of a word were an objective and context-independent property of the word.

You seem to be arguing that a different generation in a different corner of the world needs to learn from and automatically adopt your usage.

If you learn that there's an old lady in Scunthorpe who finds all mention of sex or any related concept offensive and distasteful, are you going to expunge all such words from your vocabulary immediately on the basis that they are inherently evil ? Adopt whatever euphemism she prefers this month ?

Or are you just going to be even more cautious when talking to old ladies than your normal politeness would lead you to be ? I've always imagined you as someone respectful of little old ladies, however forthright you may choose to be online.

Best wishes,

Russ

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
For similar reasons 'accessible toilet' irritates me. For the vast majority of people all toilets are accessible, how else are you supposed to make use of them?

I think accessible is short for accessible to all. The point is that the other toilets are not all accessible to all. This one is.
Close, it's shorthand for enhanced accessibility or easy accessibility, as opposed to reduced/difficult accessibility which is what the minimum public toilet standards are, even for people who wouldn't be classed as having a disability.
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
For similar reasons 'accessible toilet' irritates me. For the vast majority of people all toilets are accessible, how else are you supposed to make use of them?

(I've put aside for the moment the fact that men aren't allowed to access the ladies and vice versa.)

I haven't seen that one, but I agree. Euphemisms should not themselves be misleading or ambiguous. Perhaps people should make a point of deliberately going in the wrong one!
Nice try. Accessible toilets are single rooms which are not delineated by gender, something which facilities with a low level of usage may apply for all the toilets.

They may also be designated to do double duty as a facility for a parents/caregiver to change babies' nappies, with a table/bench (often easily retractable), a supply of disposable paper covers for said table and an appropriate bin provided for the table cover and the used nappy.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by the giant cheeseburger:
One very positive by-product of the shift away from using the dehumanising 'disabled' is that facilities which might have previously been termed 'disabled toilets' or 'disabled car park spaces' are now referred to as 'accessible toilets' and so on. This is good, because it opens up the use of accessible facilities to all who need them, rather than implying that its use is only for people who have some condition that would be commonly defined as a disability. Good accessibility should be for everyone!

The usage, 'Disabled toilet' irritates me for a quite different reason. Its more natural meaning is 'a toilet that has been the equivalent of switched off', i.e. don't use it; it doesn't flush. 'Disabled car park spaces' ought to = car spaces that have been suspended from use for some reason.

It's like the notice one often sees, 'This door is alarmed'. Is it? What about?

Are you channeling Viz' Mr Logic (He's a localised smart in the anal sphincter)

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
I was using differently abled back in the late 70s. It was a step up from "cripple" or "wheelchair confined"*

Now the "word du jour" is Pete, who uses a wheelchair.

* I hate being confined. Wheelchairs give me freedom. As anyone who knows me will attest!

Yes, you may use it, but is it the 'official' designation - i.e. on official forms and notices?

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orfeo

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I'm fascinated that people think governments sit down and carefully plan the language they're going to use.

It's pretty rare for that to happen. It might happen within a particular government department, but as a government-wide official policy? Not often.

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
... For similar reasons 'accessible toilet' irritates me. For the vast majority of people all toilets are accessible, how else are you supposed to make use of them? ...

Way to spectacularly miss the entire point. [Roll Eyes] It's not accessible if it isn't accessible to everybody. The vast majority of toilets are still INACCESSIBLE [ETA] for some people.

Edited because I haven't finished my coffee

[ 07. January 2013, 13:28: Message edited by: Soror Magna ]

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the giant cheeseburger
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I may get told off for feeding the troll, but I'll bite...
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
I was using differently abled back in the late 70s. It was a step up from "cripple" or "wheelchair confined"*

Now the "word du jour" is Pete, who uses a wheelchair.

* I hate being confined. Wheelchairs give me freedom. As anyone who knows me will attest!

Yes, you may use it, but is it the 'official' designation - i.e. on official forms and notices?
The most relevant document on the subject in the UK is the Equality Act 2010 (UK), which was passed by the House of Commons with an overwhelming majority of even your beloved Conservative Party, and superseded the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (UK). It refers to disabled persons all the way through, which would indicate that if you're looking for an "official" ruling in the UK, disabled person/s is it.

In the USA, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is about as instructive as it gets just from the title, in the text it also refers to an individual with a disability. Either way, that's a clear indication that people-first language is the accepted form in the USA.

In Australia, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (upon which the later UK DDA was based) refers consistently to persons with disabilities. Significantly, showing the leadership of Australia in this field, the primary reason for this Act was to supersede the disability discrimination legislation which already existed in all but one state, bringing a uniform level of protection across the entire Commonwealth.

Canadian law is very weak on this subject, outside of a single mention in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which includes disability in a long list of grounds upon which people should be free from discrimination. The province of Ontario does have DDA-style legislation, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the text of which consistently uses people-first language as in the Australian and US examples.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
if you continue to use an offensive, racist word after learning that it is offensive and racist, then it's hard not to conclude you're a racist.

That would be so if the offensiveness of a word were an objective and context-independent property of the word.
Don't ask for much, do you? Hell, MEANING isn't even objective and context-independent. Ever.

Perhaps you missed the part that you quoted that says, "after learning that it is offensive and racist"? Which pretty much renders the rest of your post irrrelevant bordering on stupid.

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Mudfrog
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Well there you go then.

Disabled person then it is.
It was actually very hard for me to imagine how I would tell the quaduplegic man in our church exactly how he had 'different abilities' to me when he can only move his face!

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Saul the Apostle
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I am surprised no one has mentioned that as the power of language has the power to confuse as well as elucidate, an alternative is available.

Symbols are ''king'' so to speak, or should I say ''queen'' or king & queen....for example

disabled toilet can be a simple as:

http://www.officesafety.co.uk/shop/safety-signs-and-posters/general-office/disabled-toilet-symbol.html

No one in their right mind would object to this would they?

But even here, with disabled, which still seems OK to use in the UK (I won't be offended if corrected), the words for disabled people have gone on quite a journey. Cripple was very common up until the 1950s but became pejorative and is now hardly used I think (in the UK at least).

Saul

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Posts: 1772 | From: unsure | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Saul the Apostle:
No one in their right mind would object to this would they?

Always a dangerous assumption.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Saul the Apostle:
No one in their right mind would object to this would they?

Always a dangerous assumption.
I think Saul may be implying that if anyone gets all hissy about it, we may take that as evidence that they are not in their right mind. If so, I would agree.

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Gwai
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Do not imply people are trolls.

Gwai,
Purgatory Host


--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
... It was actually very hard for me to imagine how I would tell the quaduplegic man in our church exactly how he had 'different abilities' to me when he can only move his face!

Really? That's really the only thing he can do? I wouldn't presume that anyone's abilities are defined by what I can imagine.
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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

It was actually very hard for me to imagine how I would tell the quaduplegic man in our church exactly how he had 'different abilities' to me when he can only move his face!

My husband cares for a young man like this. He is a brilliant web designer, something my husband could never do.

This young man has many abilities - I think it's rude to suggest otherwise.

ETA - he also teaches ICT in a Primary school every Friday.

[ 07. January 2013, 18:59: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Saul the Apostle:
No one in their right mind would object to this would they?

People with disabilities who aren't in wheelchairs would be the obvious candidates.

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Perhaps you missed the part that you quoted that says, "after learning that it is offensive and racist"

No, I missed the part where you admitted that if offensiveness isn't an objective property then you cannot learn that a word is offensive, you can only learn that some person or group of people consider it so.

You may consider this an irrelevant distinction.

But it seems to me that a situation where one person or group finds a word offensive and another doesn't Is less black-and-white (if you'll pardon the expression) than you're willing to admit.

Of course you should try not to use the word to someone in the former category.

But your view comes across as being that if one of the people is Mousethief then the others don't matter and the rest of the world past, present and future should fall into line.

And I'd like to think better of you than that.

Best wishes,

Russ

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Uncle Pete

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
I was using differently abled back in the late 70s. It was a step up from "cripple" or "wheelchair confined"*

Now the "word du jour" is Pete, who uses a wheelchair.

* I hate being confined. Wheelchairs give me freedom. As anyone who knows me will attest!

Yes, you may use it, but is it the 'official' designation - i.e. on official forms and notices?
Mudfrog: Official government policy (and associated handbook of terms which can be used) state that you focus on the person, not the disability.

That is, XXX, who uses a (wheelchair, uses crutches, and so on) but not xxx who is confined to a wheelchair.
A general question would be: Do you use assistive devices? Yes/no. If so, is there anything we can do to assist you?

The correct French term is personne ayant un disabilité (Person having a disability). On some Québecois forms, one may see une personne handicapée)

I assisted in writing the list of accepted terms, some 20 years ago.

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Even more so than I was before

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
No, I missed the part where you admitted that if offensiveness isn't an objective property then you cannot learn that a word is offensive, you can only learn that some person or group of people consider it so.

You may consider this an irrelevant distinction.

How a word is used is the only gauge of what it means; how a word is perceived by a group of people is the only gauge of its level of offensiveness.

quote:
But your view comes across as being that if one of the people is Mousethief then the others don't matter and the rest of the world past, present and future should fall into line.
I of course said nothing about how *I* read it, nor said anything about whether or not how *I* read it is important, so I am completely in the dark as to where you got this bizarre interpretation. I'd say, however, based on other things you've said in this thread, that you are predisposed to read it that way, and nothing I say could convince you that's not what I mean. We'd probably best leave it there.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Well there you go then.

Disabled person then it is.
It was actually very hard for me to imagine how I would tell the quaduplegic man in our church exactly how he had 'different abilities' to me when he can only move his face!

??Why in the world would you tell him that?? (Via any wording.) Given that *he's* living his life, he's probably infinitely more familiar with his disabilities and abilities than you are.

[Confused]

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
... It was actually very hard for me to imagine how I would tell the quaduplegic man in our church exactly how he had 'different abilities' to me when he can only move his face!

Really? That's really the only thing he can do? I wouldn't presume that anyone's abilities are defined by what I can imagine.
He's actually a very talented musician and a lovely Christian man. His testimony to the grace of God and the strength he knows even within his broken body is very humbling.

However, his abilities were present before he had his accident. His accident has not produced 'different abilities'.

To say that someone is 'differently abled' suggests that they have abilities that an abled person can not have, perhaps things they can now do that were caused by the accident/illness.

There is the joke (with many variations) about a man who, on recovering from surgery on his hands asks the surgeon, 'will I be able to play the piano?' The surgeon says, 'Of course,' and the man replies, 'O that's a miracle because I never could before the accident!'

The point is there are things my friend can still do (because someone has rigged up something electronically for him) that he could already do before his accident dis-abled his body. caused

[ 08. January 2013, 15:14: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by PeteC:
I was using differently abled back in the late 70s. It was a step up from "cripple" or "wheelchair confined"*

Now the "word du jour" is Pete, who uses a wheelchair.

* I hate being confined. Wheelchairs give me freedom. As anyone who knows me will attest!

Yes, you may use it, but is it the 'official' designation - i.e. on official forms and notices?
Mudfrog: Official government policy (and associated handbook of terms which can be used) state that you focus on the person, not the disability.

That is, XXX, who uses a (wheelchair, uses crutches, and so on) but not xxx who is confined to a wheelchair.
A general question would be: Do you use assistive devices? Yes/no. If so, is there anything we can do to assist you?

The correct French term is personne ayant un disabilité (Person having a disability). On some Québecois forms, one may see une personne handicapée)

I assisted in writing the list of accepted terms, some 20 years ago.

Well indeed; and I would never say 'the disabled, the blind, the deaf.' I think we would all say 'disabled people, a blind man, a deaf woman.'

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Well there you go then.

Disabled person then it is.
It was actually very hard for me to imagine how I would tell the quaduplegic man in our church exactly how he had 'different abilities' to me when he can only move his face!

??Why in the world would you tell him that?? (Via any wording.) Given that *he's* living his life, he's probably infinitely more familiar with his disabilities and abilities than you are.

[Confused]

Well exactly. The whole recent set of posts is about how we write down or say what the designation might be for someone who has, in this case, almost no ability to move. He does know exactly what his situation is and I would find it rather impertinent to suggest, in conversation with him, 'Oh it's OK, even though you can only speak and move your head from side to side, you're just differently-abled... isn't it wonderful; to know that you simply have different abilities to me because of that?'

Patronising I think.

[ 08. January 2013, 15:23: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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the giant cheeseburger
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
'Oh it's OK, even though you can only speak and move your head from side to side, you're just differently-abled... isn't it wonderful; to know that you simply have different abilities to me because of that?'

Patronising I think.

You don't get it, do you? Why on earth would you feel the need to point this out to him, that's just bullying.

Why not refer to him as Geoff (or whatever his name is) and converse with him as a fellow human being? Instead of his disability, why not try conversing on the topics that you would talk about when you're with people you don't compulsively feel you have to define by some label?

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Uncle Pete

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Mudfrog - Try describing him as xxx, who uses a wheelchair and uses assistive devices for communicating.

When you speak to him directly (you do do that, don't you and not in the third person?) call him by name.

And stop fussing. Even wheelchair users walk, deaf hear and blind see in ordinary conversation. A pity you know so few of us.

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Mudfrog
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No, no, no - you've misunderstood the entire point. My comment was about 'official' designations following a comment about the official term for disabled people being 'differently abled'.

My point was that I couldn't justify using that term because I know someone who spends his entire waking life in a wheelchair and in any conversation with him regarding his present circumstances I would never be able to use that phrase.

I talk to him often, I use his name, we talk about things regarding church, work (yes he has a job), etc, etc. I have never even used the word 'disabled' to him because 'normal' subjects are what we talk about. If ever I had to talk to him about his disability I would use that word. I would never use 'differently abled.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
No, no, no - you've misunderstood the entire point. My comment was about 'official' designations following a comment about the official term for disabled people being 'differently abled'.

My point was that I couldn't justify using that term because I know someone who spends his entire waking life in a wheelchair and in any conversation with him regarding his present circumstances I would never be able to use that phrase.

I talk to him often, I use his name, we talk about things regarding church, work (yes he has a job), etc, etc. I have never even used the word 'disabled' to him because 'normal' subjects are what we talk about. If ever I had to talk to him about his disability I would use that word. I would never use 'differently abled.

And you're misunderstanding the entire point even worse. Finding terms to use for people is NOT for when you're talking about individual people with names, it's for when you're talking about classes of people when you don't know who or how many people you're talking about.

You're not going to have a public toilet or public parking space with a list of names saying "these are the people who can use this/for whom this is for". Nor is legislation going to describe individuals.

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the giant cheeseburger
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What orfeo said. Regardless of which "label words" are accepted in the local context, a person's name is a far better label.

Mudfrog - if I was you I would stop worrying about the term "differently abled" until you come across some person or group who self-identifies in that way and requests you refer to them that way. We've established that in the UK, the accepted noun for an unknown person who has a disability is "disabled person" and the accepted collective noun for a group of unknown people is "disabled persons."

We've also established that the noun for a single, known person like Pete is Pete, and that subsequently mentioning he uses a wheelchair may at times be relevant when talking about him in the third person.

Above all, over time my experience is that people who experience being marginalised (such as people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians etc) generally have extremely accurate bullshit detectors. They can tell when you're valuing and accepting them even if you're using the "wrong" words (they may not even choose to correct you on it), and they can also tell if you're being patronising even while using the "right" words.

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If I give a homeopathy advocate a really huge punch in the face, can the injury be cured by giving them another really small punch in the face?

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Galloping Granny:
Officially, 'disabled' is now replaced by 'differently abled', the rationale being that 'disabled' identifies a person negatively;



It was this post then that sparked off my own response, thus:


quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I'd like to ask exactly where it is now 'official' to use the term 'differently abled' - that would suggest it's printed on official documents. I have never seen it. It always seemed a clumsy and rather unnecessary and rather patronising term.

which was preceded by this from Enoch:

quote:
Nor should a euphemism be a lie. 'Differently abled' is a lie. A person is not 'differently abled' unless their disability gives them an ability that is inaccessible to a non-disabled person. There are not many examples of that, and it does not apply to most disabled people.
It is not only patronising to use it of an individual, it is also patronising to use it of a group.

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orfeo

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There's nothing patronising about it. What was patronising in your mock conversation was the "isn't it wonderful" part of the statement.

Why should that kind of extra value judgement be imported into it? It is perfectly possible to say to someone "I have different abilities from you" without adding a patronising tone to it.

Try thinking about the language you use when you're talking about learned skills rather than physical attributes. Do you talk about people's abilities, or do you label someone as "disabled" because their skill set is different from yours?

[ 09. January 2013, 11:35: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
There's nothing patronising about it. What was patronising in your mock conversation was the "isn't it wonderful" part of the statement.

[Roll Eyes]
Of course the "isn't it wonderful" part of the statement is patronising! It was supposed to be, because it was a reflection of the use of the patronising phrase 'differently-abled'.

Don't you recognise sarcasm?

It is, to my mind, the very use of the phrase 'differently-abled' by the over-sensitive, worthy and well-meaning PC brigade that is the problem; it's as if they are trying to diminish the seriousness of the person in the wheelchair's situation by suggesting that it's not as bad as all that, you're not 'dis'abled, you're just 'differently'abled.'

I think the person in the wheelchair, knowing full well what his limitations and abilities are, is beyond the stage of silently mouthing the word 'disabled' because it's too uncomfortable to say.
And he certainly doesn't want people tiptoeing round the back of his wheelchair to say it out of earshot.

The reason people put 'disabled badges' on their cars is because they know fine well they can't walk 300 yards to the shop door - they are disabled; they are not 'differently abled' because they are NOT able to walk far enough and no other 'ability' (not even an ability to learn a language, conduct a band or paint with their teeth!) will compensate for their inability to walk more that 10 steps from the car - unless they are so 'differently abled' they can fly!.

[ 09. January 2013, 15:41: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
... person in the wheelchair ...

Maybe before unpacking "differently abled," you could try writing / saying "person who uses a wheelchair"?

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
... person in the wheelchair ...

Maybe before unpacking "differently abled," you could try writing / saying "person who uses a wheelchair"?
Oh for God's sake!! Could you be any more pedantic?

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
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Niteowl

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
by this from Enoch:

quote:
Nor should a euphemism be a lie. 'Differently abled' is a lie. A person is not 'differently abled' unless their disability gives them an ability that is inaccessible to a non-disabled person. There are not many examples of that, and it does not apply to most disabled people.
It is not only patronising to use it of an individual, it is also patronising to use it of a group.
Differently abled simply means we are able to do things able bodied people are able to do by using different skills to do them. The term "disabled" always rankled me as I am not disabled. I use a wheelchair to get around and I have to go at things differently than "normal"people do, but I am anything but disabled. In my younger years I traveled, played tennis, body surfed and a number of things society told me I couldn't do, but I did. I just did them using different skills than you. And yes, it is rather patronizing to brush off how physically challenged/differently abled people wish to be referred to and insist on using a term that implies that we can't do anything - i.e. a car that is disabled doesn't run at all, but those facing physical challenges can do just about anything. In fact, your post went beyond patronizing into open disdain.

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the giant cheeseburger
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Speaking as a person who doesn't face any physical challenge beyond needing to wear glasses, I agree. There are just too many awesome examples of people with disabilities achieving way more than the majority of people who don't to remain ignorant of that.

Just a couple I personally appreciate...

A previous pastor of our church had a painting on his office wall which was done by a local artist who had to learn how to paint using his mouth after he was hit by a motorbike and lost all movement from the neck down. His paintings are magnificent in their own right as paintings, and they easily surpass anything I could do even with two arms and no restricted mobility.

There's a bloke from Italy named Alex Zanardi, he's a motor racing driver who lost his legs in a crash about ten years ago. He then spent years helping a number of companies advance the technology for hand controls, which he then used to make a return to motorsport and compete successfully at world championship level including a few race wins. He then decided it was time for a new challenge and switched to handcycling in time to win both gold medals in his class in 2012. I'm a fairly keen cyclist, but I know for sure that I would have no chance of keeping up with him in a race even if I was using my conventional-format bike.


When you come across people like these examples who refused to let the challenge of learning new skills get in the way of their achievements, the concept behind "differently abled" as a proud form of self-identification makes sense.

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Mudfrog
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I just want to say that I'm sorry if I offended anyone - my intention wasn't to lead the discussion in such a way. I wanted to do what many of you have done - to defend the dignity and value of people - whether they are referred to as disabled people, people with disabilities, or even people who are 'differently abled'.

Like others here I am concerned that the words we use of people who are often categorised are the best and are not artificial or, as I have said, patronising.

I guess that the problem of language is that we bring our own perceptions and experiences to words we use or hear others using and what is patronising to some is not patronising to others.

I guess therefore the best thing to do is indeed to use the official terminology which, I assume, has been through the mill of discussion and consultation with the very people it is meant to describe.

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Doublethink.
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[Overused]

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Good post, Mudfrog.

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

I guess therefore the best thing to do is indeed to use the official terminology which, I assume, has been through the mill of discussion and consultation with the very people it is meant to describe.

What would that be in the case of people of African descent ? Does the Race Relations Act or US equivalent use any particular official terminology for people at risk of discrimination because of the colour of their skin ?

Just curious as to what the outcome of your suggestion would be if more widely applied...

Best wishes,

Russ

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

I guess therefore the best thing to do is indeed to use the official terminology which, I assume, has been through the mill of discussion and consultation with the very people it is meant to describe.

What would that be in the case of people of African descent ? Does the Race Relations Act or US equivalent use any particular official terminology for people at risk of discrimination because of the colour of their skin ?

Just curious as to what the outcome of your suggestion would be if more widely applied...

Best wishes,

Russ

I think they use the word 'Black' don't they - as in 'Black British', etc.

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lilBuddha
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People is the preferred word. Black will do if you must go further than that.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
People is the preferred word. Black will do if you must go further than that.

Well of course. People is indeed the preferred word but there are occasions when ethnicity is asked for - on the census forms for example, I would describe myself as 'White British' the person who has recently received her citizenship is now described as 'Black British.'

That is the official designation - which was what was being asked for in the post just earlier on.

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G.K. Chesterton

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lilBuddha
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Missed that. My bad.

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Hallellou, hallellou

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Saul the Apostle
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
People is the preferred word. Black will do if you must go further than that.

Well of course. People is indeed the preferred word but there are occasions when ethnicity is asked for - on the census forms for example, I would describe myself as 'White British' the person who has recently received her citizenship is now described as 'Black British.'

That is the official designation - which was what was being asked for in the post just earlier on.

I sometimes call myself ''white other''

I am fascinated by the other.

Saul

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