- Avoid words like "victim, crippled, retarded, confined to a wheelchair" or "suffers from" when writing about people with disabilities.
- Use "Accessible to those with disabilities," or "in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act," not "handicapped accessible."
- Always refer to the person first and the disability second:
- Students with learning disabilities, not learning-disabled students.
- A device to be used by people with vision impairments, not a device for the blind.
- Necessary to use a wheelchair, not confined to a wheelchair.
- Battled cancer, not a cancer victim.
- Congenial disability, not birth defect
- Down’s syndrome, not Mongol or Mongoloid
- Disability, not handicap
- Mental illness, not crazy, lunatic, demented or maniac
- Short stature, not dwarf or midget
- Without speech, not mute or dumb
- Blind, not partially sighted
- Learning disabilities, not slow learner or retarded
- People with disabilities, not special
- Accessible to those with disabilities, not handicapped accessible
- When writing about ethnic groups, use the term widely preferred by that group, without a hyphen:
- Egyptian American
- Arab American
- African American, not black or Afro American
- Caucasian, not white
- Asian American, not Oriental
- Latino (male), Latina (female)
- Native American
- Avoid gender-specific language, which is most commonly the use of a male pronoun. Always try to use the plural form.
- Preferred: Staff members must show their ID cards.
- Not preferred: Each student must show his/her ID card.
- However, if you are speaking of someone who holds a position and you know the gender, use the appropriate pronoun: The doctor examined her patients.
- Avoid gender-based words. Use:
- Average person, not common man
- Chair or chairperson, not chairman or chairwoman
- Representative, not congressman
- Police officer, not policeman
- Supervisor, not foreman
- Mail carrier or postal worker, not mailman
- Firefighter, not fireman
- Flight attendant, not stewardess
- Artificial, not manmade
- Staffed, not manned
- Search, not manhunt
- People, not mankind
- Personnel, not manpower
- To operate, not to man