In this politically correct world we live in, it is hard to keep up-to-date with what we can and can’t say and write. Not everyone will agree on everything. The government have published some basic guidelines that schools may like to consider, when communicating with or about disabled people.
One of our member schools contacted us to ask for guidelines on appropriate terminology to use when referring to disabled people. As members of the PSHE Association, we were only too happy to help. In schools it is even more important that we get it right, not only so we don’t cause offence, but also because we are modelling and teaching the adults of tomorrow what is appropriate language to use.
Goverment guidelines for talking about disability
We found a really useful table (below) that we felt was worth sharing. It shows, at a glance, what terms we should avoid using and what language is okay to use. The table comes from the Government paper entitled:
To read the full article, click on the link above.
|(the) handicapped, (the) disabled||disabled (people)|
|afflicted by, suffers from, victim||has [name of condition or impairment]|
|confined to a wheelchair, wheelchair-bound||wheelchair user|
|cripple, invalid||disabled person|
|mentally handicapped, mentally defective, retarded, subnormal||with a learning disability (singular) with learning disabilities (plural)|
|spastic||person with cerebral palsy|
|mental patient, insane, mad||person with mental health condition|
|deaf and dumb; deaf mute||deaf, user of British Sign Language (BSL), person with a hearing impairment|
|the blind||people with visual impairments; blind people; blind and partially sighted people|
|an epileptic, depressive, and so on||person with epilepsy, diabetes, depression or someone who has epilepsy, diabetes, depression|
|dwarf; midget||someone with restricted growth or short stature|
|fits, spells, attacks||seizures|
3D PSHE handles sensitive topics and language well
Feedback from schools about our 3D PSHE products tells us that tricky topics – particularly in Years 5 and 6 – are handled very sensitively and appropriately. Our materials are an enormous help for teachers unsure of how to address sex and relationships and extremism and radicalisation.
Click here for details of our PHSE Primary Programme.