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Health Tips Detail

No matter what disability someone has, we need to be polite and sensitive to that person and we should use an appropriate term. Our choice of words has an impact on the way people with special needs feel and is perceived in society.




What not to say


What to say


Blind or Vision Impairment


Dumb, Invalid, Blind Freddy

Person with Visual Impairment



Deaf or Hearing Impairment


Invalid, Deaf-and-Dumb, Deaf-Mute

Person with Hearing Impairment


Speech/ Communication Impairment


Dumb, “One who talks bad”

Person with a speech/ communication impairment, Speech impaired


Learning Disability

Retarded, Slow, Brain-Damaged, “Special ed”

Person with Learning or cognitive disability


Mental Illness

Hyper-sensitive, Psycho, Crazy, Insane, Wacko, Nuts, Mad

Person with the psychosocial disability



Mobility/ Physical Disability

Handicapped, Physically Challenged, “Special”, Deformed, Cripple, Gimp, Spastic, Spaz, Lame, Wheelchair-bound


The person with the mobility or Physical disability

Intellectual/ Cognitive Disability

Retard, Mentally Retarded, “Special Ed”

Person with an intellectual/ cognitive/developmental disability


Short Stature


Dwarf, Midget


The person with short stature


Health Conditions

Victim, Someone “Stricken with” a disability

Person living with specific health conditions 

Dr. Rubina Mirza 
(Physiotherapist, Consultant, Child Development Center)  
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