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NBACL uses the funds raised through the Community Collection Program to create and to continue programs which support children and adults with an intellectual disability and their families. Some of the programs NBACL offers are in the areas of: childcare, employment, justice, education, community inclusion, transition from school to work, recreation and leisure just to name a few.
An intellectual disability (also commonly referred to as a developmental disability among other terms) is, simply stated, a disability that significantly affects one’s ability to learn and use information. It is a disability that is present during childhood and continues throughout one’s life. A person who has an intellectual disability is capable of participating effectively in all aspects of daily life, but sometimes requires more assistance than others in learning a task, adapting to changes in tasks and routines, and addressing the many barriers to participation that result from the complexity of our society. Examples of an intellectual disability might include someone who has Down Syndrome, Autism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or another label, however, there are people with an intellectual disability may not have a medical diagnosis.
What is appropriate language to use when referring to a person or people with an intellectual disability?Category: Press Room
“Words with Dignity” was developed as a useful reference tool for journalists when reporting on people with an intellectual disability. If you would like more information on using Words with Dignity, contact Gina Wilkins, Director of Marketing and Communications for the New Brunswick Association for Community Living.
Language around persons with an intellectual disability can often depict a person or persons with an intellectual disability inaccurately. Here is a list of preferred terms and appropriate language to use when referring to a person or people with an intellectual disability in general:
Avoid Using: “Disabled Person” or “The Disabled.”
Use This Instead: A person with a disability. People with a disability.
Avoid Using: “Normal.” (People with an intellectual disability are normal people who have a disability).
Use This Instead: People who do not have a disability.
Avoid Using: “Retarded.”
Use This Instead: A child/adult with an intellectual disability.
Avoid Using: “Abnormal” or “Subnormal” or “Defective” or “Deformed” (These are negative, clinical terms that imply a failure to reach perfection and do not speak to the whole person).
Use This Instead: Specify the disability.
Avoid Using: “Suffers From” or “Afflicted With.” (Most people with an intellectual disability do not see themselves as suffering or victims).
Use This Instead: The person has … (an intellectual disability and if necessary, specify the disability).
Avoid Using: “Depends On” (teacher assistant, aides, equipment)
Use This Instead: Is supported by, uses.
Avoid Using: “Disease” (when used as disability)
Use This Instead: Disability.
If you meet a person with an intellectual disability, the first thing you should say is, “Hello.” People with an intellectual disability are people first and want to be regarded as such, so if you see someone with an intellectual disability, you should treat that person as just that, a person.
Why do you say ‘person with an intellectual disability’ instead of ‘intellectually disabled person,’ or ‘special needs?’Category: General
The term ‘person with an intellectual disability’ comes from people with an intellectual disability themselves who believe that, “labels are for jars, not people.” People with an intellectual disability do not want to be defined by their disability. We all have gifts, talents and abilities and we do not want to be limited from expressing these gifts because of a label.
NBACL does not charge a fee for the supports we provide, therefore we do not refer to the people we supports as clients, rather we refer to children and adults with an intellectual disability as people.