Words Matter: The Language We Use to Describe People and Communities Impact Future Success June 3, 2024 at 2:45 pm

Contrary to the rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” much harm can come from the misuse of language. Social media has made it possible to connect to a vast network of disability focused communities each having their own common language that is ever evolving. Keeping up with the changes may seem daunting however, the potential impact makes it worth investigating. Together, we will dive into some familiar words and their meanings in the disability community that have evolved to ensure that our language continues to yield a positive impact on the lives we interact with as professionals.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the importance of respectful and accurate language that honors the diversity of the disability community.
2. Discuss examples of outdated terminology and the unintentional negative impact they may have on the disability community.
3. Develop an inclusive and positive communication style that reflects an individual’s dignity and agency based on their preferences.


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