It is necessary to recognize the diversity, richness and complexity of disability and identity. Some people may prefer to identify first with their disability because they see it as a major part of their lives. Other people may choose people-first language, and prefer to be seen as a person with a disability. The best practice is to always ask someone, as an individual, how they prefer to be identified. Honoring how a person chooses to describe themselves is where respect and inclusion begin. If you are interested in learning more about disability, the disabled community, ableism, and differences in language/identity, we’ve compiled this list of additional resources. You can also click here to learn more about the local community partners who created this style guide.
Disability Sensitivity Video
This video, created by Washington, DC Office of Disability Rights, follows the protagonist, Bob, as he learns how to interact with people with disabilities. It’s a humorous look at how to avoid awkward situations and emphasizes the importance of asking people with disabilities what is best for them.
Disabled People Are Not Inspiration
A first-person article describing tokenism and the common perception that some people are inspirational merely because they live with a disability. It builds upon a well-known TEDx talk by comedian and journalist Stella Young.
Guidelines for Writing About People with Disabilities
The ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This article offers quick tips and resources for writing about disability.
Guidelines for Respectful Communication
From the University of Kansas, a resource for all communicators who seek guidance on objective, respectful disability terminology. These guidelines are based on a survey of national disability organizations and individuals with disabilities.
Person-first and Identity-first Language
This article explores the differences between person-first and identity-first language and provides background information on language preferences. It emphasizes people with disabilities are not a monolith; what words one person finds offensive or incorrect, another person will prefer.
National Center on Disability in Journalism
A comprehensive resource on terms related to disability. It also includes background information and recommendations. The Center is headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Disability Rights Ohio
Disability Rights Ohio is a non-profit corporation with a mission to advocate for the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio. The organization works toward ensuring people with disabilities are full and equal members, and enjoy the rights and opportunities of all people.
Disability Visibility Project
The Disability Visibility Project is an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the over 60 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation.