Language is a powerful tool, and can be used to create a sense of empowerment, pride, identity and purpose. We know it can be difficult to keep up with what is acceptable and what is not, so here is the latest advice.
Focus on the person, not the impairment
Use “person with disability” or “people with disability”.
Person-first language is the most widely accepted terminology in Australia. Examples of person-first language include: “person with disability”, “person who is deaf”, or “people who have low vision”. Put the person first, and the impairment second. Other terms that are growing in acceptance are “person living with disability”, and “person with lived experience of disability”.
These terms are inclusive of people who may have experienced disability in the past, but don’t any longer, and also people who are carers.
We also prefer to say “person without disability”, and do not recommend the terms “non-disabled” or “able-bodied”.