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Why language matters when writing about people with disabilities

February 1, 2013

A few years ago, I was reading an article in The Washington Post that mentioned several political appointees with disabilities. All of them were intelligent and accomplished, but I remember cringing when the columnist used the term, “wheelchair-bound,” to describe them. 

This was not the first time that I’d seen the mainstream media use poor word choices to report on people with disabilities, and it would not be the last.

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Diana Zeitzer Diana Zeitzer is the communications director for She is a proud Penn State alumna, who enjoys running marathons and performing improv comedy.

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