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This glossary covers a wide range of topics and includes terms that describe people, technology, concepts, and more. Some of the terms, marked by this icon , are widely considered to be

This term is generally agreed to be offensive toward or a person or group of people. We strongly recommend you do not use this term and instead use a term not usually thought to be offensive. While it is possible that some people will not be offended by this term, just as some people will be offended by other terms when no harm is intended, it is best to avoid. Remember that what is considered offensive can also change over time, by scenario, and by relationship. We provide this library of terms for informational purposes and we welcome feedback to help us get it right.

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  • Mute

    Derogatory term for a person who doesn't use verbal speech, often referring to people who are deaf or hard of...

  • Cripple, Crippled

    Derogatory term for a person that has a disability or impairment, usually referring to someone who has limited or...

  • Freak

    Derogatory term for a person that appears to have unusual characteristics.

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

    Devices, methods, systems, gestures, or symbols that supplement or replace oral speech.

  • Reasonable Accommodation

    Any change to the environment, equipment, processes, or practices that improves accessibility or helps an...

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, Autism)

    A condition that can involve a wide variety of traits, such as difficulties in processing social skills,...

  • Down Syndrome

    A condition categorized by having an extra copy of chromosome 21, which can cause various intellectual and...

  • Hard of Hearing (HoH)

    Description most commonly used for someone who does not hear well, with some degree of hearing loss.

  • Neurotypical

    A type of person, brain functioning, or behavior that does not fit the patterns of neurologically-based...

  • Quadriplegia, Quadriplegic

    Paralysis in all four limbs and possibly torso, often resulting from spinal cord injury.