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Able-bodied//Un-able bodied???

janinejohnson92 Community member Posts: 6 Listener

I was wondering about peoples thoughts over the term that describes able-bodied people? So the opposite for people with impairments in non-able bodied?

However you wouldn't describe someone as non-abled bodied, just as you wouldn't describe someone without an impairment as non-disabled. So why do we call people able-bodied?

Why is all the language surrounding disability so negative? And why do people accept it? 


  • barryeagle
    barryeagle Community member Posts: 11 Listener

    I am able bodied but disabled as well.

    I can understand what your saying there. Does not seem right.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 126 Listener
    edited March 2015

    Scope just goes with 'non-disabled' (http://www.scope.org.uk/Scope/media/Documents/About us/Scope-brand-guidelines.pdf) - page 14

    It's a deliberate choice - puts people onto the social model, rather than medical (i.e you are NOT disabled by the society in which you live) 

    -B x
  • daz50
    daz50 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
    The language is negative because it was developed by those without an impairment. As those with impairments were often shut away in institutions away from society until the last forty years or so they had no real ability to influence the language. I’m aged 41 & have left side hemiplegia and the negative descriptions were the only ones used around me as I grew up. The terms used are from the medical model not the social model. The problem is that the medical model is still used by the media, medical professionals and politicians. Many people with impairments wouldn't describe themselves as disabled, that’s how other people without impairments describe them. As many people aren't aware that there is different up to date terminology they don’t use it. The social model is only forty years old whereas the medical model is hundreds of years old. Until the media etc. start using the social model and user led organisations or charities such as Scope have more influence the use of negative terminology will continue.
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