Don’t say Handicapped
Source: Fox 21 News
The disabled community is the largest minority group in the world and a group anyone can join in an instant.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Rocky Mountain ADA Center has launched a campaign to get people to stop saying the H word. What H word? “Handicapped.”
“Saying handicapped puts an arbitrary limitation on people that they don’t have one,” said Rachael Stafford, Project Director of the Rocky Mountain ADA Center.
The word “handicapped” is everywhere: on signs, in articles and in everyday conversations, but Stafford said it’s time for a change.
“I don’t say I’m lawyer Rachael. I don’t say I’m confined to being a mother, no more than somebody would say I’m confined to a wheelchair, or I’m blind or deaf. You’re gonna say ‘I’m a person, I happen to have this,’” said Stafford.
“It doesn’t apply to me. Because I am able. I am able to do anything, except hear,” said Beverly Buchanan, a teacher at UCCS who happens to be deaf.
Stafford said the goal of the campaign isn’t to shame anyone for using the H word, but to educate and empower them to choose a different and more appropriate word or phrase.
“Handicapped. That’s a very old word, old fashioned. That’s from a long time ago. We’re humans. You’ve got to look at the person,” said Buchanan.
“It focuses on what is a perceived condition. It takes the focus off of the person and it lumps them into a category,” said Rita Schell, an Iraq War Veteran. “I’m not a disabled person. I am a person who just happens to have some disabilities.”
Disabilities come in a variety of forms and can sometimes even be invisible.
“I served two one-year tours in Iraq and as a result of that I have PTSD as well as a TBI,” said Schell.
But invisible or visible disability, the No H Word Campaign is trying to put out the message that what should be seen first is the person.
“And that’s what they want to be recognized as, a person,” said Schell.
“We’re all just human. We’re all the same,” said Buchanan.
The disabled community is the largest minority group in the world and a group anyone can join in an instant. To learn more about the Rocky Mountain ADA Center and their campaign, visit http://www.rockymountainada.org/dont-say-h-word/ .