Sometimes “political correctness” just means seeing people for who they are.

The term, “politically correct” has taken quite a beating in recent years.

The phrase can mean a lot of things, but these days it seems to be used in an insulting manner  – poking fun at people who are trying to be attentive to diversity in our society.

Granted, there are situations where “political correctness” is overdone. (Examples might be describing a janitor as a “sanitation engineer” or  a bald person as “folically challenged.”) But for every situation where the wording seems a bit overstrained, there are several where in fact, an individual is consistently defined not by who they are, but by what they have. (Examples here would be calling someone in a wheelchair “a cripple” or labeling someone with mental illness “a psycho.”}

Words matter, and the attached article does an excellent job of providing alternatives to some of the labels traditionaly used to describe people with disabilities. If there is a common theme, it is the recommendation to use “people first” language, where the fact that someone has a disability is not the first thing you learn about her. Because quite often, it ends up being the only thing that is remembered.



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