Discarding Language that is Hurtful to Persons with Disabilities

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RESPECTFUL DISABILITY LANGUAGE (RDL) is concerned with the subtleties of the terminology used to refer to, or to communicate with persons with disabilities (PwDs). For example, a people-first approach shuns identification through disability, thus “people who are blind” is preferred to “blind people”; while an identity-first approach indicates that the disability forms a large part of the person’s identity. Ultimately, the choice of using either people-first or disability-first jargon is for the PwD to decide. But RDL extends beyond words to include gestures, actions and body language. Chew Sui Teng was born blind and like many other PwDs, is no stranger to ...


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