You might have heard me mutter “wait, that was ableist language” and find a more specific term for whatever I just said. I am not the first person to argue that ableist langauge is violent. Or that it is lazy. I’m definitely not an authority on it. It frustrates me to realize how much the world, language, and idiom has been built around the elevation of abled bodies and the cutting-down of all other forms of bodies.
More for myself than any other reason, I’m assembling a list of words that are more specific and can replace idly used ableist terms with words that don’t perpetuate the hierarchy of difference through my own language choices. I did not make this list up – it’s a compilation of lists and ideas found on the websites below. I encourage you to turn to them for more thoughtful treatments of this topic.