To guarantee inclusion and respect of the human rights-based approach, it is essential to define a proper vocabulary. The best option is just asking the person what words or terminology are preferred to be used. If this is not possible, we recommend the use of “person-first language”, which puts the person before his or her impairment. It reflects the human rights model of disability which see disability as the result of barriers created by society. Disability is not a defining characteristic but one of several aspects of the person. For example, we will say “person with disabilities” instead of “disabled”. This recommendation is also extended to illnesses and diseases, for which medical labels should be avoided not to reinforce stereotypes of people as ‘patients’. We use this language as it is in line with the terminology enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
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