adaptive equipment for diff'able'd

Bruce Smith bsmith at
Tue Feb 16 10:21:21 EST 1993

In article <1993Feb15.220119.7143 at> ptrei at (Peter Trei) writes:
>     However trendy "differently-abled" may be among the terminally
>PC, it is a clumsy, obscure and non-descriptive term. "Handicapped" or
>"disabled" let people know that you are seeking help for those whose
>abilities (usually through no fault of their own), are below normal.
>    "Differently-abled" does not do this. It would be quite accurate
>to say that Michael Jordan is "differently-abled" in regards to
>basketball: he's a hell of a lot better than a normal person.
>    Fight NEWSPEAK!

My wife is an editor who's been working on a project that involves exactly
this kind of jargon. She informs me that the current acceptable syntax for
expressing handicaps is "a person with <name of handicap here>." For example,
a blind person would not be referred to as "blind," or "differently sighted,"
but as "a person with blindness" (but not as a " blind person"). This somewhat
sidesteps the issue of "ableness." However, it seems that the correct
expression for those of us without disabilities now should be described
as -- what else? -- "non-disabled"!  

Bruce Smith

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