News from LINC

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 12.43.43 PMPeople first language alert!

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is an important milestone for our nation. This anniversary helped the ADA gain momentum by providing a window to promote the law’s advancements and the support it has provided for the millions of our neighbors who are people with disabilities. LINC reminds you that it’s time to find an alternative to the word handicap.

Rocky Mountain ADA Center began a movement to end the “H word”.

A slew of casual phrases have leaked into our language, for example: Jack is “confined to a wheelchair,” or Jane “suffers from multiple sclerosis”, or even calling them “handicapped parking spaces”.

To be fair, the word, handicap, began with good intentions, or at least intentions that were not mean-spirited. But, changes in language are subtle, and even in the absence of dark motives, unintended consequences often form. Words can hurt! As time passed, the “H word” and phrases that accompany it became code for second-class citizenship. The “H word” began as simple semantics. Now, the word carries real ramifications. A person with a disability tends to be ‘one of them’ — not ‘one of us.’ CIL’s are working to have information available to help people understand that the “H word” and similar phrases do hurt feelings. We know it will take a long time to change dialogue, but it must start somewhere. Now it’s time to leverage the law’s advancement and rally around it for a new discussion by replacing the “H word” with appropriate terms.

(As seen in Aposrophe Magazine – A Voice for People with Disabilities)

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