We appreciate that language can be very emotive. Language and the meanings we attach to words play a crucial role on how we view and experience the world.
Operating under the social model of disability, we consider that barriers in our society create hardship as these can potentially result in lack of choice, control and loss of independence. Barriers can be physical, such as lack of accessible toilets or lifts in buildings, or can be due to people’s attitudes to difference. Hence, we believe that people are disabled by the society due to lack of information, infrastructure, awareness and understanding. This is not only reflected on how we structure our cities, conduct our relationships or business but also on the language we use to communicate.
We try to accommodate people’s personal preferences where possible but also understand that we are all unique and it can be hard to ensure that the ways in which we describe and define suit everybody. The way we define terms may differ from person to person or amongst different cultures and languages.