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Feb

14

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Writing about Disabilities Style Guide

Posted by on February 14th, 2018 Posted in: General, Substance Addiction and Misuse


This style guide, from the National Center on Disability and Journalism (NCDJ), provides appropriate language to use when writing or talking about people with disabilities, including addiction. It’s intended for journalists, communication professionals, and members of the general public who seek to use appropriate and correct language. An excerpt:

“The American Psychiatric Association recommends avoiding the term addict (and alcoholic), suggesting instead the phrase “someone experiencing a drug/alcohol problem.” The association also discourages using the term junkie, which specifically refers to someone who misuses heroin.”

Each entry includes a definition of the word or term, a summary of how it is used or viewed by disability groups and guidance, when available, from The Associated Press Stylebook. Finally, each entry includes the NCDJ recommendation, which strives for accuracy and aims to strike a balance between clarity and sensitivity.

 

Image of the author ABOUT Patricia Devine
Medical Librarian, Network Outreach Coordinator, NN/LM, PNR. I work for a network of libraries and organizations with an interest in health information.

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This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.​

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