This is a discussion thread · 14 replies
Could anyone explain the main differences between these three words?
If you want to say that someone is physically handicapped... wouldn´t that be a disabled person???
the following applies to Britain and probably most other countries.
The only one that is genererally acceptable today is disabled. It is better to say 'a person with a disability' rather than a disabled person, as people with disabilities do not like, understandably, being defined by their disability rather than any thing else about them. people with disabilities got very 'political' about this a decade or so ago (well, longer than that but it took a while for society to take them seriously) and will be offended at being called 'handicapped'. Many people with disabilities do not consider themselves handicapped by their disability.
sorry for the PC lecture but it is always best to attempt to avoid offending anyone.
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It´s important to use the language accurately and also not offending people by the way we say things...
Do you think, then, it will be allright if a doctor is explaining to a pacient the following (he´s had an accident and probably he won´t be able to walk anymore):
DOCTOR: (...) but one of your possibilities is that you may be leg disabled or you´ll be disabled on both legs?
It sounds to me very odd, suggestions welcome!
thanks a lot
In North American it is not politically correct nor respectful to say handicapped, invalid or disabled anymore. We refer to people with physical challenges. The reason for this is that a person born with a 'disability' does not think of it as such: their's is a normal way of being, not abnormal for them. It is also not proper to say that someone is 'suffering' from a disability for the very same reason. An 'acquired disability' might be okay to say... just might be, however it is still better to say 'facing some physical challenges.'
".. one of the possibilities is that you may not be able to use one of your legs, or both."
Melodie in Canada
As David says, things must be named by their own name (that is the main purpouse of words ) but the least I want is to offend a person just for the sake of using a word instead of another which may sound more "polite"...
Anyway, thanks for all your views and recommendations. I´ll bear them in mind.
Invalid perhaps when something has run out. To label a person as such, suggests a time limit?
Could someone help me with the history of disabled, in particular the last letter. To disable something suggests a present happening, but if it is disabled it seems long-term or even terminal.
People are waiting to help.
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