Do you use a wheelchair for mobility? Have you ever used a wheelchair? I have. Although it was temporary, the experience sensitized me like nothing before to the words and images people use when describing a person who is disabled or who uses a wheelchair.
Some descriptions and terms have disappeared from popular use in the past few decades. Some, however, still linger. The National Center on Disability and Journalism (NCDJ) has put together a list of terms to avoid when writing about disability. Here is the link to that article: http://ncdj.org/2015/09/terms-to-avoid-when-writing-about-disability/
Image: disabled sign, www.publicdomainpictures.net
(Originally printed in 2012)
Recently, while talking with a relative, her response was a blank stare. It was as if I had lapsed into a language she didn’t speak or understand. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I must have thrown her a “curve.”
I learned communication is like baseball. What is key: “Expectations about shared understanding, opposing objectives, and a common knowledge of what is fair and acceptable conduct.” Read what Alva Noë learned in National Public Radio’s “Talking Baseball Can Be A Game of Communication”:
BALL AND GLOVE #2
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Welcome to the new site for TG Communications Group. I hope you will find the diversity-focused communication posts helpful and informative.
— Tanya Goodman