Group Profile

DisAbility Research(DARE) is an interdisciplinary research group set up to consider existing disability issues and promote social inclusion. The group includes members from music, education, applied psychology, architecture, choreography, counselling and psychotherapy, design, informatics, nursing, philosophy, and more to come. The group is based at the University of Edinburgh.

Group's page: https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/pages/viewpage.action?title=Homepage&spaceKey=DRE

Materials provided by DARE

“In disability research, and indeed within wider society, a key issue is how the identities of people with disabilities are construed, constructed and perceived. There is an interrelationship between language and perception. Certain terms can affect how people with disabilities are perceived while certain perceptions can affect the terminology used when discussing disabilities. At present this relationship is often negative but a change in language could affect a change in perception, hopefully towards a more positive place. We could see this as moving from a vicious to a virtuous circle. To enable this move, we need to identify places in which the vicious circle can be challenged and broken. Sites where we assemble the written word would seem to be one such place. For many of us, this place is often a phone and/or computer. We use these devices to write emails, texts, blogs, letters, reports, essays, papers etc. We propose the development of a terminology-check tool, modelled on the standard spelling and grammar check tools found in word-processing and other software. It would ‘check’ inputted text and highlight terms, phrases and words which can be used when discussing disabilities which have negative connotations. It would suggest neutral and/or positive alternatives. In so doing, it would challenge the use of negative terminology and promote positive or neutral terminology which, hopefully, could help steer us towards the desired virtuous circle.”