The language you
use when talking about someone who has cerebral palsy or any disability
for that matter is very important. You want to use positive language and
avoid terms that tend to make having a disability into a negative. The
following are some recommendations and guidelines on what to use and not
use when referring to cerebral palsy and the disabled. These were developed
by the United Cerebral Palsy Association.
– this is a very negative term. A better word would be Affected or A
person who has…
- Cerebral palsied
or cerebral paralyzed – besides the fact that it is almost impossible
to pronounce, it makes the person you are talking about sound like an
inanimate object. A better way of saying this is: person or people with
this paints a picture no one wants to look at. Just don’t use this term.
cerebral palsy is a Condition not a disease. Most people with cerebral
palsy are as healthy as anyone else.
- Drain and burden-
these are big no no’s. The correct term—if you must, is: Added responsibility.
- Poor- physical
disabilities have nothing to do with economic status. Love and self
esteem are priceless qualities. A persons character will determine the
richness of his or her life.
- Suffers from-
if someone with a disability is independent and copes with life just
as well as the able bodied people around them then how can they be suffering?
This phrase simply dose not work.
what is unfortunate is that we have even had to include this word in
this list. Do not use this term to describe people with disabilities.
Some people with disabilities feel that it is a gift and so in no way
does unfortunate describe them.
a person with a disability was neither sabotaged nor were they necessarily
involved in a plane, train, bus, or car accident. There is no way to
rephrase this cliché.
this leaves the impression that the person is some how glued to the
chair and can not get out. All people who use wheelchairs get out of
them to go to bed. Many of them get out and walk for short distances.
A better term here is: Person who uses a wheelchair.
1995-2000 page contents by Anee Stanford