Language is a key component of disability because it has historically been used as a tool to silence and oppress disabled people. The words companies use to describe disabled people is perhaps our clearest indicator of whether or not disabled people were involved and valued in the process. In a recent study titled ‘Special Needs is an ineffective euphemism’, it was found that “persons are viewed more negatively when described as having ‘Special Needs’ than when described as having a disability”. We urge all brands to #SayTheWord, and that word is disability. (The #SayTheWord campaign was created by Lawrence Carter Long).
*While we use identity-first language (Disabled Person), we want to be clear that we support anyone who uses person-first language (Person with Disability) and kindly request the same consideration.