The terms disability and disabled are generally preferred overhandicap or crippled. More "positive" labels, such as physicallychallenged and differently abled, may occasionally be appropriate, althoughmany people with disabilities find such euphemisms offensively trivializing. When referring toindividuals with specific disabilities, first be sure that noting the disability is necessary. If it is, referto it in a way that does not define the person by the disability. If it is not, do not mention it at all.
Debbie Stevens, a blind seventh grader at Riverview Junior High, won third prize in thecounty public-speaking competition.
Debbie Stevens, a seventh grader at Riverview Junior High, won third prize in the countypublic-speaking competition.
Paraplegic James Alton competes in marathons with other crippled racers who train inwheelchairs.
James Alton, an attorney whose legs were paralyzed in an automobile accident, competesin marathons with other disabled racers who train in wheelchairs.
In general, use terminology that treats a disability or an illness neutrally rather than negatively.
|cancer victim, AIDS victim||cancer patient, person with AIDS|
|suffers from diabetes||is diabetic|
|confined/bound to a wheelchair||uses a wheelchair|
|dying of cancer||living with cancer|
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