Some Positive and Negetive Words

Positive language empowers. When writing or speaking about people with disabilities, it is important to put the person first. Group designations such as "the blind," "the retarded" or "the disabled" are inappropriate because they do not reflect the individuality, equality or dignity of people with disabilities. Further, words like "normal person" imply that the person with a disability isn't normal, whereas "person without a disability" is descriptive but not negative. The accompanying chart shows examples of positive and negative phrases.

Affirmative Phrases

person with an intellectual, cognitive, developmental disability
person who is blind, person who is visually impaired
person with a disability
person who is deaf
person who is hard of hearing
person who has multiple sclerosis
person with cerebral palsy
person with epilepsy, person with
seizure disorder
person who uses a wheelchair
person who has muscular dystrophy
person with a physical disability, physically disabled
unable to speak, uses synthetic speech
person with psychiatric disability
person who is successful, productive

Negative Phrases

retarded; mentally defective
the blind
the disabled; handicapped
the deaf; deaf and dumb
suffers a hearing loss
afflicted by MS
CP victim
confined or restricted to a wheelchair
stricken by MD
crippled; lame; deformed
dumb; mute
crazy; nuts
has overcome his/her disability; is courageous (when it implies the person has courage because of having a disability). 

Source: Online 
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