disabled, handicapped, impaired
In general do not describe an individual as disabled or handicapped unless it is clearly pertinent to a story. If such a description must be used, make it clear what the handicap is and how much the persons physical or mental performance is affected.
Avoid such euphemisms as mentally challenged and descriptions that connote pity, such as afflicted with or suffers from multiple sclerosis. Rather, has multiple sclerosis.
Some terms include:
cripple Often considered offensive when used to describe a person who is lame or disabled.
disabled A general term used for a physical or cognitive condition that substantially limits one or more of the major daily life activities.
handicap It should be avoided in describing a disability.
blind Describes a person with complete loss of sight. For others use terms such as visually impaired or person with low vision.
deaf Describes a person with total hearing loss. For others use partial hearing loss or partially deaf. Avoid using deaf-mute. Do not use deaf and dumb.
mute Describes a person who physically cannot speak. Others with speaking difficulties are speech impaired.
wheelchair-user People use wheelchairs for independent mobility. Do not use confined to a wheelchair, or wheelchair-bound. If a wheelchair is needed, say why.
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