Wednesday, February 18, 2009

State Rethinks Disability Language

A Greensboro Democrat, Sen. Katie Dorsett, has proposed a bill which suggests a change in how the state refers to "the disabled" or "people with disabilities." What may at first seem to be a semantic detail not worth the legislative toil required to make it law, could also be viewed as a progressive review of the way we think about, and therefore, refer to individuals in our society who are different due to the effects of a disease or disorder.

Sen. Dorsett's claim is that the reference, in its traditional use, uses a primary trait to identify an individual as opposed to acknowleding their personage (humanity) first. Here's another example: people who reside in the US illegally are habitually referred to 'illegals.' The label precedes the person.

Dorsett says, "Certain terms are demeaning and create an invisible barrier to inclusion as equal community members."
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