Students with Differing Abilities

How to be an Ally

  • Include Person-First language in your conversations regarding persons with disabilities
  • Not all disabilities are visible -- consider those beyond what you can see
  • Continue to educate yourself and share what you learn with others
  • Look around. Is the area you are in accessible?
  • Use Universal Design (UD) and Universal Instructional Design (UID)
  • Speak up against discrimination -- use your voice for others
  • Include disability in your definition and understanding of diversity


Allies for Inclusion - the Ability Exhibit

“Allies for Inclusion: the Ability Exhibit” includes 10 interactive stations that encourage respect and build awareness of disability issues. The national touring exhibit was created by students at Saint Louis University. It was first displayed in 2010, and Appleton North will become its first stop at a high school.







People First Language

People First Language puts the person before a disability; a person with a disability is more like people without disabilities than different. Remember - a disability descriptor is simply a medical diagnosis.

Say This Instead of
People with disabilities The handicapped or disabled
He has an intellectual disability He's mentally retarded
She has autism She's autistic
He has Down syndrome He's Down's
She has a learning disability She's learning disabled
He has a physical disability He's a quadriplegic/is crippled
She's of short stature She's a dwarf/midget
He has a mental health condition He's emotionally disturbed/mentally ill
She uses a wheelchair/mobility chair She's confined to/is wheelchair bound
He receives special education services He's in special ed
She has a developmental delay She's developmentally delayed
Children without disabilities Normal or healthy kids
Communicates with her eyes/device etc. She is non verbal





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