Word Up! is the name of a resource campaign developed by Purple Orange around word usage and the concept of disability.
We believe passionately in people living with disability getting a fair go. Unfortunately, media stories involving people living with disability can sometimes, albeit unintentionally, prove counter-productive to the disability community because of the language used.
We also believe that disability is a social construct – that people are not disabled or impaired but that disability arises from communities that are not accessible to everyone.
Often language used, such as ‘wheelchair-bound’, ‘the disabled’, and ‘disabled parking’ serves to reinforce ill-informed community perceptions and result in a culture of diminished values and opportunities.
How we hope it will help
Word Up! is a campaign in response to unhelpful and sometimes offensive words that can appear in the media and other places in relation to stories and messages about people living with disability.
We like to believe that mostly the use of this language is unintentional and is the result of a lack of education and communication. We hope the campaign will raise awareness of suitable language usage and reporting among media professionals and the wider community.
Purple Orange has produced a Word Up! postcard that can be respectfully posted to media outlets.
This bright purple oversized postcard allows the sender to record examples of the language used, and provides contact details for Purple Orange, offering further guidance. We can also provide training.
You can purchase packs of Word Up! postcards from directly from us. Contact us to find out more.
Confused about words to use?
Language Matters. Here are some helpful tips. Before pointing out someone's disability, ask yourself if it is important. Often the media will put a person's disability in the title, even though it has nothing to do with the story. If it is important, use the following as a guide.
|WORDS TO AVOID||TRY REPLACING WITH|
|Wheelchair bound||Uses a wheelchair|
|The disabled||People living with disability|
|The deaf||Deaf people|
|Person living with intellectual disability|
|Person living with disability|