Language and Disability (conducted by Brampton Caledon Community Living-BCCL)

October 2016

Purpose of Event

  • To promote a better understanding of the experiences of folks living with disability (ies). 
  • To explore the stereotypical slangs and disrespectful language used for disability and identify a more respectful way when speaking of a disability or to a person with a disability.
  • Create a safe environment for young individuals to explore their biases around disabilities, ask questions and learn about resources in the community.
  • Use education and open discussion as a tool to create more informed youth allies for folks with disabilities and create stronger advocates on the subject of disability. 

Summary of Event

The event was held at ECLYPSE Youth Centre as part of their hour long 'Teachable Moments' workshop. Two representatives from BCCL facilitated the workshop, attended by 8 youth.

The power point was very informative and discussed history of institutionalization, disability movement, use of language and available supports.

The youth were very engaged throughout and asked many questions especially around institutionalization and language used to describe disability.

When speaking of derogatory language, many youth felt safe enough to share their personal struggles with bullying associated with their (invisible) disability.

The group spoke of a variety of situations where words can hurt an individual with a disability and discussed how appropriate language can be practiced. 

Next steps

Seeing the success of this event, ECLYPSE will continue to invite presenters to keep the conversation around language and disability going and hope that the information shared and stereotypes addressed can create stronger youth allies. The goal is do at least one presentation per month.