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The National Center on Disability and Journalism (NCDJ) Disability Language Guide

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February 06, 2016

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Disability Language Guide

According to Jake from Cronkite School

The National Center on Disability and Journalism

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication developed the NCDJ Disability Language Guide to aid journalists with the appropriate phrases to use when reporting on people with disabilities.

The style guide is intended for journalists, communication professionals and members of the general public who are seeking the appropriate and accurate language to use when writing or talking about people living with disabilities. The guide covers general terms and words on physical disabilities, hearing and visual impairments, mental and cognitive disabilities and seizure disorders. Entries are listed in alphabetical order. Click on the index above to jump to entries that begin with that letter.

Each entry includes a definition of the word or term, a summary of how it is used or viewed by disability groups and guidance, when available, from The Associated Press Stylebook. Finally, each entry includes the NCDJ recommendation, which strives for accuracy and aims to strike a balance between clarity and sensitivity.

You can also download a printable PDF of this guide by clicking here.

See also: “Terms To Avoid When Writing About Disability”

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