[games_access] disability or limitation?

Barrie Ellis oneswitch at googlemail.com
Tue Nov 3 16:20:26 EST 2009

I know in the UK some disabled-rights activists use cripple much as some black people use the word nigger, in a way that reclaims it from people who would use it as term of abuse. See the BBC's Ouch pages to see a bit of that.

Personally, I don't think "black" or "white" used to describe a person's appearance is accurate. I've never met anyone with a skin tone that wouldn't sit somewhere between very dark brown and very pale pink on a colour chart. But... I do want to respect a person's individual wishes and also try to recognise the cultural meaning behind a name.

Re. Handicapped - again I speak from a UK perspective, but here some believe the origins of the word link to "cap in hand" begging, which many disabled people were forced to do in the 19th century and before. There seems to be evidence against this, but I've met many who hold this belief. It's also quite an old term over here, that has a lot of negative baggage wrongly or rightly.

I like and respect Steve's view. I like also the view that a person is disabled by their environment where it prevents them from doing what they want to do. If they had the right access then they would no longer be disabled. This is idealistic - but isn't that what we're all about here?


From: Javier Mairena
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 8:36 PM
To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List
Subject: Re: [games_access] disability or limitation?

The tow traditional words in spanish are "discapacitado" that means literally: "non capacited". And "minusválido" that means literally "less valid".

Maybe these words sound worse in spanish that "disabled" people in english.

There is a full article in spanish about the "functional diversity" but is all in spansish here: http://www.forovidaindependiente.org/files/documentos/pdf/diversidad_funcional.pdf

I can translate some words:

none of the terms currently used is positive, or neutral. The functional diversity has nothing to do with the illness, disability, paralysis, retardation, etc.. All this terminology is derived from the traditional view of the medical model of functional diversity, which presents a different person as a person biologically imperfect to be rehabilitated and "fix"; to restore some theoretical patterns of "normal"; than ever have existed.

Women and men with functional diversity are related companies, being inherently imperfect, have established a model of perfection to which any particular member of them has access, and defining how to be physical, sensory or psychological and rules of social functioning. This model is related to ideas of perfection and normality established by a large sector that has power and the concept of purely quantitative majorities.

The term "functional diversity"; conforms to a reality in which a person works differently or different from most of society.


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