A disability that develops slowly over time.
A disability one is born with.
A mental and/or physical impairment that manifests before age 22 and limits functionality in areas such as learning, language and mobility.
A mental impairment that affects a person’s day-to-day life.
A physical impairment that affects a person's day-to-day life.
Don't reference a disability unless it is clearly pertinent to the story.
It’s appropriate to mention a disability in a story only if the individual you are writing about brings it up.
It’s never appropriate to reference a disability.
Only reference a disability if it is clearly pertinent to the story and then refer to the person first and the disability second.
Only reference a disability when the subject of your story agrees that it is OK.
“He battles muscular dystrophy.”
“He is afflicted with muscular dystrophy.”
“He is stricken with muscular dystrophy.”
“He has muscular dystrophy.”
“He suffers from muscular dystrophy.”
Ask the person you are interviewing what he or she prefers.
Never use the words handicap or handicapped in a story.
These terms are appropriate in most uses.
Use these terms only when applied to a person.
Use these terms when describing a place or thing (handicapped parking), but not when describing a person (handicapped person).
It’s better to use precise medical terminology when possible or a more general phrase, such as “non-responsive.”
Yes, and it’s also appropriate to refer to the person as a “vegetable.”
Use the phrase only if the doctor uses it.
Use the phrase only if the patient’s family uses it.
Never use this phrase.
The disability developed after birth.
The disability is undiagnosed.
The person has a disability but doesn’t realize it.
The person has difficulty with cognitive reasoning.
The person has had the disability since birth.
“He has Down disease.”
“He has Down syndrome.”
“He has Down’s.”
“He is a Down Syndrome child.”
“He is a Down’s child.”
Someone of short stature
It depends. Ask your subject what he or she prefers.
Confined to a wheelchair
Forced to rely on a wheelchair
Person who uses a wheelchair or wheelchair user
It’s usually better to say “visually impaired” but ask the individual what he or she prefers.
Never call someone blind because it has negative connotations.
The term is appropriate if it’s used by a medical doctor.
The term is never appropriate.
You may describe anyone with limited sight as being blind.