There are a few guidelines to help writers use terminology about people with disabilities in a appropriate way. 

The International Paralympic Commiittee has created a


Guide to reporting on persons with an impairment

The guide below was created by Research and Training Center on Independent Living of the University of Kansas, USA, and reviewed by numerous organizations of persons with Disabilities.

Guidelines: How to Write and Report About People with Disabilities

Contents (or download the PDF):

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." - Mark Twain

Your Words, Our Image

Writers, editors, reporters and other communicators strive to use the most accurate terminology about people with disabilities. However, inaccurate, archaic and offensive expressions are still commonly used, perpetuating negative stereotypes and beliefs about people with disabilities.

For example, a person who uses a wheelchair – an objective fact – is often described as wheelchair-bound, a subjective description that implies victim hood.

As one wheelchair user puts it, “I personally am not ‘bound’ by my wheelchair. It is a very liberating device that allows me to work, play, maintain a household, connect with family and friends, and ‘have a life.’ ”

Who Says?

Since the first edition was published in 1984, we have consulted with hundreds of disability groups and individuals who have disabilities to produce Guidelines: How to Write and Report About People with Disabilities. The eighth edition presents the latest terminology preferred by people with disabilities.

The Associated Press Stylebook, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association(6th edition) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have all adopted some of the recommendations from previous editions of the Guidelines.

The first edition of the Guidelines was produced with funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Since then, more than one million copies have been distributed, and the electronic version is now used by people around the world.

Please use the Guidelines when you write or report about people with disabilities. We also offer a poster that presents a short list of disability writing style dos and don’ts.

Pictured above: Jeff Gordon, Ranita Wilks, Rachel Magario and Magario’s service dog, Nettie, on the University of Kansas campus. Photo by Diane Guthrie.

Portrayal Issues

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. 

That said, people with disabilities are like every other human being – they have strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, hopes and dreams. Like other minority groups, they don’t want to be stereotyped when their stories are told. By following these guidelines, you can portray people with disabilities in an accurate and objective manner.

Put the person first, not his or her disability. Use person with a disability, woman with multiple sclerosis or a child who has an intellectual disability. This “person-first language” puts the focus on individuals, not their functional limitations. Labeling a person (for example, an autistic) dehumanizes him and equates a person with a condition. Think people first, too, for indicating disability groups, such as people who have cerebral palsy.


Emphasize abilities, not limitations. For example, uses a wheelchair or uses a communication device rather than confined to a wheelchair or unable to speak. In reality, wheelchairs and other assistive devices represent independence for their users, not a burden. To emphasize capabilities, avoid negative words that portray the person as passive or suggest a lack of something, such as victim, invalid or defective. While the term disability itself implies a negative, it is the most objective term we have in English.


Do not focus on a disability unless it is essential to a story. Avoid tear-jerking human interest stories about incurable diseases, congenital disabilities or severe injury. Focus instead on issues that affect the quality of life for those same individuals, such as accessible housing and transportation, affordable health care, employment opportunities and discrimination. Focus on personal characteristics that aren’t related to disability, such as artist, professional, mother, etc.  

Bypass condescending euphemisms. Terms such as special, handicapable, differently abled and challenged reinforce the idea that people cannot deal honestly with their disabilities. While special is used in the names of some educational programs and organizations, the use of special needs is offensive to many adults with disabilities, who want to be treated like everyone else in their community. Special also implies a paternalistic need to be taken care of, which is frequently not true. Just say children with disabilities.  

Do not portray successful people with disabilities as heroic overachievers or long-suffering saints. Every human faces challenges in life. Even though the public may find such portrayals inspirational, these stereotypes raise false expectations for people with disabilities.


Avoid sensationalizing and negative labeling. Saying afflicted with, crippled with, victim of or suffers from portrays individuals with disabilities as helpless objects of pity and charity. State the facts in neutral terms, saying a person who has AIDS. Avoid emotional descriptors such as unfortunate or pitiful.


Do not equate disability with illness. People with disabilities can be healthy, though they may have chronic diseases such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. People who had polio and experienced after-effects have post-polio syndrome; they are not currently experiencing the active phase of the virus. Also, do not imply disease if a person’s disability resulted from anatomical or physiological damage (for example, a person with spina bifida). Finally, do not refer to people with disabilities as patientsunless their relationship with their doctor is under discussion, or if they are referenced in the context of a clinical setting.

Respect the person. Do not use offensive words such as retard, freak, lame, subnormal, vegetable and imbecile. If you maintain the dignity and integrity of each individual, there is no need to panic about being politically correct.When appropriate, you may ask a person how she prefers you to describe her disability. While some common phrases can be hurtful, such as blind as a bat, it’s fine to use everyday expressions like See you later.

Person-First Language:   

A Partial Glossary of Disability Terms

We know that language shapes perceptions, so a small word choice can make a big difference in communicating attitudes towards people with disabilities and assumptions about the quality of their lives.

Person- first language literally puts the person first instead of his or her disability. By referring to an individual as a person with a disability instead of a disabled person, you are providing an objective description instead of a label. While opinions differ on some words, this list offers preferred terms for many visible and invisible disabilities, illustrated with person-first language.

AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is the clinical diagnosis for a genetic neurobehavioral condition that is characterized by symptoms in three categories: inattention, excessive activity and impulsive behavior. While the medical community includes ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) as a subset of this condition, disability advocates consider the two conditions as distinctly different. A person who has ADD has difficulty focusing attention and a high level of distractibility, but does not experience hyperactivity or impulsive behavior. Say person with ADHD orstudent with ADD. Do not use hyper or lazy.


Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) refers to a group of complex disorders of brain development that may cause difficulty with social interactions, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. In terms of symptoms, Asperger’s syndrome is on the milder end of the spectrum. People with an ASD can have severe limitations in one area with no limitations in others. Use child with autism or Asperger’s syndrome or person on the spectrum.Do not say autistic. (See also “A Few Exceptions.”)


Blind describes a condition in which a person has loss of sight for ordinary life purposes. A person is legally blind when vision with best correction is no better than 20/200. Low vision and vision lossare generic terms for vision loss caused by macular degeneration and other conditions. Low visionusually denotes someone who is legally blind, but can still see large print, bright colors, light and shadow and large shapes, while vision loss refers to those who have lost vision after birth. Say boy who is blind, girl who has low vision or man who is legally blind. (You may ask which term best suits the person.) Some blind people consider themselves visual thinkers so they regard visually impaired and visually challenged as negative terms.


Brain injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI) describes a condition where there is long-term or temporary disruption in brain function resulting from injury to the brain. Difficulties with cognitive (thinking remembering, learning), physical, emotional and/or social functioning may occur. Use person with a brain injury or employee with a traumatic brain injury. Do not say brain damaged.


Chemical and/or electrical sensitivities describe chronic medical conditions characterized by neurological impairment, muscle pain and weakness, respiratory problems and gastrointestinal complaints. Reactions for those with chemical sensitivities are triggered by low-level exposure to everyday substances and products including pesticides, solvents, cleaning agents, new carpeting and adhesives, and fragrances and scented products. Electrical sensitivities are triggered by electromagnetic fields from electrical devices and frequencies. These conditions are also called toxicant-induced loss of tolerance, environmental illness or sick building syndrome. Use person with chemical intolerance or people with environmental illness. People with this condition should not be called chemophobic or described with the term idiopathic environmental intolerance.


Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to a chronic condition in which individuals experience six or more months of fatigue accompanied by physical and cognitive symptoms. Chronic fatigue, immune dysfunction syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis are currently preferred. Do not say Yuppie Flu. Also, don’t confuse this syndrome with overlapping or similar conditions such as Epstein-Barr virus syndrome and fibromyalgia.


Cleft palate or lip describes a specific congenital disability involving the lip and gum. Say person who has a cleft palate. The term hare lip is anatomically incorrect and stigmatizing.

Congenital disability describes a disability that has existed since birth but is not necessarily hereditary. Use person with a congenital disability or disability since birth. Do not say birth defect or deformity.


Deaf refers to a profound degree of hearing loss that prevents understanding speech through the ear. Hearing impaired or hearing loss are generic terms used by some individuals to indicate any degree of hearing loss, from mild to profound, although some dislike the negative term impaired. Hard of hearing refers to a mild to moderate hearing loss that may or may not be corrected with amplification. A person who has hearing difficulties may have speech difficulties, too, but deafness does not affect mental abilities. Say woman who is deaf or boy who is hard of hearing. People who have some degree of both hearing and vision loss prefer the term deaf-blind. Also acceptable isperson with combined vision and hearing loss or dual sensory loss. Never use deaf and dumb. (See also “A Few Exceptions.”)


Developmental disability is a broad term that describes any physical and/or mental disability that starts before the age of 22. Examples include cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders and sensory impairments. People with developmental disabilities have a wide range of functioning levels and disabilities. Although the term intellectual disability is often used in conjunction with developmental disability, many people with a developmental disability do not have an intellectual disability. Say she has cerebral palsy, he has autism or he has a developmental disability. Do not say she is mentally retarded.

Disability is a general term used for an attribute or a functional limitation that interferes with a person’s ability, for example, to walk, lift or learn. It may refer to a physical, sensory or mental condition such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, Lyme disease, post-traumatic stress syndrome, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other conditions that restrict the activities of daily living.


Do not use the term handicapped because many people with disabilities consider it offensive.
We recognize the need for succinctness, but when possible, avoid using the disabled as a generic label. It describes a condition, not people, and has connotations of “non-functioning” (as in adisabled car). It also implies a homogenous group that is separate from the rest of society. Instead use people with disabilities or the disability community.


Disfigurement refers to physical changes caused by burns, trauma, disease or congenital conditions. Do not say burn victim. Say burn survivor or child who has burns.

Down syndrome describes a chromosomal disorder that causes a delay in physical, intellectual and language development. Sayperson with Down syndrome. Do not use Mongol, mongoloid or Down person.


HIV/AIDS is a disease of the immune system. Over time, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) can weaken the immune system to a point where the body becomes susceptible to certain illnesses that healthy immune systems resist. People with HIV are diagnosed with AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) when one or more specific conditions are met. Use person living with HIV or people who have AIDS. Do not use AIDS victim.

Intellectual disability refers to limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviors that require environmental or personal supports for the individual to live independently. Though mental retardation was previously an accepted clinical term, many consider it an insult, so people who have this condition, their families and related organizations have campaigned to end its use. (See “Rosa’s Law and the Language of Bullying.”) Say people with intellectual disabilities. Do not use retarded, mentally retarded or subnormal.


Learning disability describes a neurologically based condition that may manifest itself as difficulty learning and using skills in reading (called dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), mathematics (dyscalculia) and other cognitive processes due to differences in how the brain processes information. Individuals with learning disabilities have average or above average intelligence, and the term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of another cause, such as intellectual disabilities or lack of educational opportunity. Say person with a learning disability. Do not use slow learner or retarded.

Nondisabled is the preferred term when the context calls for a comparison between people with and without disabilities. Usenondisabled or people without disabilities instead of healthy, able-bodied, normal or whole.


Post-polio syndrome is a condition that affects some persons who have had poliomyelitis (polio) long after recovery from the disease. It is characterized by new muscle weakness, joint and muscle pain and fatigue. Say person with post-polio syndrome.Do not use polio victim.


Psychiatric disability refers to a variety of psychological conditions. Say person with a psychiatric disability or mental illness. In a clinical context or for medical or legal accuracy, use schizophrenic, psychotic and other diagnostic terms. Note, too, thatbipolar disorder has replaced manic depression. Words such as crazy, maniac, lunatic, schizo and psycho are offensive and should never be applied to people with mental health conditions.


Seizure describes an involuntary muscle contraction, a brief impairment or loss of consciousness resulting from a neurological condition such as epilepsy or from an acquired brain injury. Say girl with epilepsy or teen with a seizure disorder. The wordconvulsion should be used only for seizures involving contraction of the entire body. Do not use epileptic, fit, spastic or attacks.


Service animal or service dog describes a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. In addition to guiding people who are blind, they may alert people who are deaf, pull wheelchairs, alert and protect a person who is having a seizure, remind a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, or calm a person with post- traumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack. Miniature horses are also considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), though monkeys no longer are. Do not use seeing eye dog.


Short stature describes a variety of genetic conditions causing people to grow to less than 4’10” tall. Say person of short stature, although some prefer little people. Dwarfism is an accepted medical term, but should not be used as general terminology. Do not refer to these individuals as midgets because of its circus sideshow connotations.


Speech disability is a condition in which a person has limited or impaired speech patterns. Use child who has a speech disability. For a person without verbal speech capability, say person without speech. Do not use mute or dumb.


Spinal cord injury describes a condition in which there has been permanent damage to the spinal cord, resulting in some degree of paralysis. Quadriplegia denotes loss of function in all four extremities, while paraplegia refers to loss of function in the lower part of the body only; in both cases the individual might have some function in the affected limbs. While people with spinal cord injuries often refer to themselves as a para or a quad, communicators should use man with paraplegia, woman who is paralyzed or person with a spinal cord injury. Don’t say cripple or handicapped.


Substance dependence refers to patterns of substance use that result in significant impairment in at least three life areas (family, employment, health, etc.) over any 12-month period. Although such terms as alcoholic and addict are medically acceptable, they may be derogatory to some individuals. Acceptable terms are people who are substance dependent or person who is alcohol dependent. Individuals who have a history of dependence on alcohol and/or drugs and are no longer using alcohol or drugs may identify themselves as recovering or as a person in recovery.

Survivor is used by people to affirm their recovery from or conquest of an adverse health condition such as cancer survivor,burn survivor, brain injury survivor or stroke survivor. Don’t call themvictims.

Rosa’s Law and the Language of Bullying

Signed into U.S. law in 2010, Rosa’s Law replaces the term mental retardation with the phrase intellectual disability in federal health, education and labor statutes. The law was named for nine-year-old Rosa Marcellino, whose brother Nick explained the change this way: “What you call people is how you treat them. If we change the words, maybe it will be the start of a new attitude towards people with disabilities.”*


Most states have also changed their laws to use more respectful language in statutes and the names of state agencies.

The disability community supports a national campaign called “Spread the word to end the word,” which raises the public’s awareness about ending use of “the R word.” This movement is also part of the battle against bullying, which often begins with demeaning and destructive words.

*From “Remarks by the President at the Signing of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010", accessed 12/7/12.

A Few Exceptions

Language is continually evolving, and no rule is absolute. Here are a few notable exceptions to person-first language.

Deaf/deaf. As a group, this population typically refers to itself as the Deaf or Deaf community (with a capital D) rather than people who are deaf. They identify with a specific community made up of those who share a common language, American Sign Language, and culture.


Disability humor. Some people with disabilities who embrace the culture of disability refer to themselves with the same offensive terms that we urge you to avoid. This familiarity is a form of disability humor and should not be adopted by those outside of the group.

Identity language. Some people prefer “identity language” to person-first language as a way to signal their disability pride. Thus, a person who values her autism as an inseparable and important part of who she is might proudly say, “I am autistic,” in the same way she describes herself as an American. Similarly, many regard a blind man as a neutral descriptor (the same as a tall man), and amputee is more often used than a person with an amputation.

Still, the guiding principle remains: Accord people with disabilities the dignity that all people want. By using person-first language, you will maintain objectivity and convey respect.


Key Concepts in the Disability Community

These concepts and terms may be helpful when writing about people with disabilities.


Accessible describes the nature of accommodations for people who have a disability. Say an accessible parking space rather than handicapped parking ordisabled restroom. Accessible also describes products and services for people with vision or hearing disabilities, such as when a hospital provides patient education materials in large print or a university adds captions to a recruitment video.Handicapped has negative connotations because it suggests that obstacles to participation are in the person rather than in the environment.


Advocacy is an active process designed to make institutions and social and political systems more responsive to the civil rights, needs and choices of individuals. Through individual and group advocacy, people with disabilities can communicate their rights under various civil rights laws and participate in decision-making that affects them.

Consumer is the term used by many in the disability community to refer to someone with a disability. The civil rights movement in the U.S. inspired the independent living movement of the 1970s, which maintained that people with disabilities are consumersof assistive services and have a responsibility to evaluate and control those services. On a similar note, some people prefer to be described by what they use, such as wheelchair user, ventilator user or mental health service user.


Independent living (IL) refers to the philosophy that people with disabilities should be able to make decisions that affect their own lives. IL also refers to a civil rights movement that advocates for equal participation in community life and a service system made up of centers for independent living. These nonresidential resource centers are run by and for people with disabilities, as well as for the benefit of the entire community. Their core services include advocacy, information and referral, independent living skills training, peer counseling and, most recently, de-institutionalization of people with disabilities.


Inclusion is perhaps best known for its role in public school programs, though the concept has a wider significance. It means that people with disabilities are considered full citizens, with equal opportunity to participate in community life. As the largest minority in the U.S., people with disabilities should also be included in conversations about diversity.


The medical model is an attitude and practice that regards disability as a defect or sickness that must be cured or normalized through medical intervention. People in the disability community prefer the social or independent living model which regards disability as a neutral difference between people – and acknowledges that people with disabilities can be healthy. In the social model, problems related to disability are caused by the interaction between the individual and the environment rather than the individual’s disability itself. These problems can be remedied by changing social attitudes, physical environments, public policies, and other barriers to full participation.


Thanks to Our Reviewers

We are grateful to many individuals and disability organizations for their input on this edition of the Guidelines. A partial list of endorsers includes:

  • American Association of People with Disabilities

  • Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living

  • Beach Center on Disability, University of Kansas

  • Brain Injury Association of America

  • Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

  • Hearing Loss Association of America

  • Institute for Disability Studies, University of Southern Mississippi

  • Learning Disabilities Association of America

  • National Ataxia Foundation

  • National Council on Independent Living

  • National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc.

  • Post-Polio Health International

  • Rocky Mountain ADA Center

  • Scientific and Consumer Advisory Panel, Research and Training Center on Community Living

  • Spinal Cord Central, United Spinal Association

  • Tarjan Center, University of California, Los Angeles

  • United Cerebral Palsy/Community Living and Support Services

Research and Training Center on Independent Living
The University of Kansas
4089 Dole Center, 1000 Sunnyside Ave.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7561
Phone: 785-864-4095
TTY: 785-864-0706

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.



The International Labour Organization, ILO, produced a guidelines for the media on reporting about people with disabilities.


The designations employed in ILO publications, which are in conformity with United Nations practice, and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the International Labour O ce concerning the legal status of any country, area or territory or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers.


The responsibility for opinions expressed in signed articles, studies and other contributions rests solely with their authors, and publication does not constitute an endorsement by the International Labour O ce of the opinions expressed in them.

Reference to names of rms and commercial products and processes does not imply their endorsement by the International Labour O ce, and any failure to mention a particular rm, commercial product or process is not a sign of disapproval.


ILO publications and electronic products can be obtained through major booksellers or ILO local o ces in many countries, or direct from ILO Publications, International Labour O ce, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland. Catalogues or lists of new publications are available free of charge from the above address, or by email: Visit our website:

Printed in Switzerland



  1. Introduction

  2. Disability: Facts

  3. Myths and facts

  4. Story ideas for disability 


Tips: On promoting the positive portrayal of people with disabilities



International Conventions and instruments on disability 

Useful references and links

Relevant publications 



The media - television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, social media and other forms - play an important role in in uencing public opinion and attitudes. The choice of words, images and messages can determine perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. It can also de ne what does or does not matter to individuals and the world around them.

How women and men with disabilities are portrayed and the frequency with which they appear in the media has an enormous impact on how they are regarded in society. While there are some disability-speci c media programmes, such as television documentaries, disabled people rarely appear as part of mainstream programmes. When they do appear, they are often stigmatized or stereotyped, and may appear as either objects of pity or super heroic accomplishment and endurance. Including them in regular programmes on television and radio in addition to other types of media helps provide fair and balanced representation and break down barriers to acceptance and create better understanding about disabled persons.

Portraying women and men with disabilities with dignity and respect in the media can help promote more inclusive and tolerant societies. Why is this important? First, because people with disabilities make up approximately 1 billion, or 15 per cent, of the global population (WHO, WB 2011). Second, as a group, they are often subject to discrimination or exclusion from basic services such as health, education, training and work opportunities. As a result, people with disabilities experience poorer health, lower educational achievements, and have fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. Third, in many countries, disabled persons often lack access to information about policies, laws and improvements in programmes and services that directly a ect them. This knowledge gap perpetuates their exclusion from mainstream social, economic and political life.

“...a reality in which people with disabilities are valued

for their abilities
and are seen as agents

of productivity, innovation

and competitiveness and as an integral part of the world of work
is absolutely possible.”

Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO), October 2014

Promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities requires the recognition of all people as full members of society and the respect of all their rights. Inclusion also involves ensuring the participation of people with disabilities in all basic services available to the general population and the removal of barriers – physical, attitudinal, legal, regulatory, policy, lack of information in accessible formats – that prevent them from fully participating in society. What is more, promoting equality of opportunities and access to services and information for people with disabilities is also critical to strategies for reducing poverty, a shared objective of the international community.

These Guidelines are intended to provide practical advice to the media on how to promote positive, inclusive images of women and men with disabilities and stimulate a climate of non-discrimination and equal opportunity – in all levels of the economy and society – for disabled persons. It is intended for people working as editors, journalists, broadcasters, producers, programme makers and presenters. It is also relevant to people working as web editors, and content managers of social and interactive media platforms. It re ects a commitment by the ILO and the Government of Ireland, through its programme on development assistance,1 to promote inclusion and decent and productive work for people with disabilities globally.

1 Irish Aid is the Government of Ireland’s programme of assistance to developing countries.

These Guidelines are intended for all people working as editors, journalists, broadcasters, producers, programme makers and presenters who want to increase and improve the portrayal of people with disabilities in the media. It is also relevant to people working as web editors, content managers

of social media platforms, and on interactive multimedia products.

Breaking the link between disability and poverty: Including people with disabilities in development activities

There is a close link between disability and poverty, with each contributing to the other. Poor people are more at risk of acquiring a disability because of lack of access to good nutrition, health care and sanitation as well as safe living and working conditions; and, people with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty due to discrimination and barriers to participation in all spheres of society.

Inclusion in all development activities is critical to breaking this vicious cycle of poverty and disability. While much has been accomplished in the 15 years since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which

set out to address extreme poverty
in all its dimensions, it did not
focus enough on reaching the very poorest and most excluded people.
In the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals it is critical that the voices of people with disabilities be heard and that action to tackle disability issues be taken.

ILO/P. Brown

ILO/ A. Fiorente


The term disability covers a wide range of di erent physical, psycho-social, sensory or intellectual impairments which may or may not a ect a person’s ability to carry out their day to day activities, including their jobs.

Women and men with disabilities work in all sectors of the economy and in all types of roles. Many have demonstrated that with the right opportunities and adjustment, where required, to a job or the work environment, they can make a valuable contribution to the world of work.

Facts about people with disabilities

• One billion of the world’s population, or 15 per cent, live with a disability.

• Disabled people are at a higher risk of poverty in every country, whether measured in traditional economic indicators relative to GDP or, more broadly, in non-monetary aspects of living standards such as education, health and living

  • conditions.

    Disabled women are at greater risk of poverty than men with disabilities (Mitra et al. 2011). Their poverty is linked to their very limited opportunities for education and skills development. Approximately 785 million women and men with disabilities are of working age, but the majority do not work. When they do work, they earn less than people without disabilities but further gender disparities exist.

  • Women with disabilities earn less than men with disabilities.

    According to an ILO pilot study of ten low- and middle-income developing

    countries, excluding people with disabilities from the labour force results in

  • estimated GDP losses ranging from 3 and 7 per cent (Buckup 2009).

    People with disabilities are frequently excluded from education, vocational

  • training and employment opportunities.

    Fifty-one per cent of young boys with disabilities completed primary school, compared with 61 per cent of young boys without disabilities, based on World Health Organization (WHO) surveys in more than fty countries. In the same survey, girls with disabilities reported 42 per cent primary school completion

  • compared with 53 per cent of girls without disabilities (WHO, WB 2011).

    Disability a ects not only the person with a disability, but also their families. Many family members who provide primary care to another family member with a disability have often left work due to their caring responsibilities. What is more, carers and the families of people with disabilities usually experience a higher level of nancial hardship than the general population (Inclusion International 2007).

Many terms and phrases have been used to describe disabled people, including “diferently abled”, “physically challenged”, “handicapped”, “people with disabilities”. Internationally, the most widely acceptable terms are “people with disabilities” and “disabled people”. This Guide uses both forms interchangeably. (See also ‘Terminology’ for use of respectful language when referring to people with disabilities.)

Disabled people have demonstrated that with the right opportunities and adjustment, where required, to a job or the work environment, they can make a valuable contribution in the workplace.


ILO/A. Maasho

MYTH: There aren’t many people with disabilities, so it’s

not really an issue.

FACT: People with disabilities are present in all societies. Many are hidden or excluded from society, either in their homes or in institutions because of social stigma. There may be barriers – physical, attitudinal, legal, regulatory, policy, lack of information in accessible formats – that limit their opportunity to participate in a variety of activities. Furthermore, a disability may not be visible. Some people who have a disability may not even think of themselves as disabled.

MYTH: Disability is a health issue.

FACT: Health is important for everyone – whether disabled or not. But health is not the only, or in some cases, most important issue. For many people with disabilities, participation in work, education, politics, among other spheres of life, is equally important. Focusing only on the impairment or on the disabled person as someone to be ‘cured’ is called the ‘medical model’ of disability. This approach often overlooks the abilities of the disabled person. By contrast, the ‘social model’ sees the barriers to participation arising from the way a society is built and organized, and attitudes and mistaken assumptions about disabled persons, in combination with the individual’s impairment. Over the past decades, there has been a dramatic shift in how disability is perceived and persons with disabilities have started to be viewed as rights holders. This ‘human rights-based’ approach recognizes disability as an important dimension of humankind and a rms that all people, regardless of their impairment, have certain inalienable rights, i.e., civil and political as well as was economic, social and cultural rights, which include labour rights.

MYTH: Persons with disabilities are unable to meet performance standards, thereby making them an employment risk.

FACT: Employers of disabled workers consistently report that, as a group, people with disabilities perform on par or better than their non-disabled peers on measures such as productivity, safety and attendance. In addition, people with disabilities are more likely to stay on the job. The costs of job turnover, such as lost productivity and expenses related to recruitment and training, are well known to most employers (

MYTH: Accessibility only bene ts people with disabilities.

FACT: Good accessibility bene ts everyone. Accessibility is strongly linked to the design of products, devices, services or environments and takes into consideration everyone’s needs – whether or not they have a disability – and encompasses features such as colour, audio signal like those found at pedestrian crossings, tonal contrast, surfaces, hearing enhancement systems (such as ‘loop systems’), presentation of information, and signage for nding one’s way, among others. (

MYTH: Considerable expense is necessary to make workplace adjustments for workers with disabilities.

FACT: Making reasonable adjustments in the workplace refers to measures or actions taken by employers to help disabled people work or to take part in training on the same basis as non-disabled individuals. Most workers with disabilities require no special adjustments and the cost for those who do is minimal or much lower than many employers believe. Studies by the Job Accommodation Network in the United States have shown that 15 per cent of accommodation measures cost nothing, 51 per cent cost between $1 and $500, 12 per cent cost between $501 and $1,000, and 22 per cent cost more than $1,000 (

There are an estimated 1 billion women and men with disabilities worldwide. Their friends and family add another 1.9 billion. Together they control over $9 trillion in annual disposable income globally.

Source: Emerging Giant – Big is Not Enough. The Global Economics of Disability, March 1, 2012 (http://tinyurl. com/lo89wea).



Journalists can help shape a better understanding about disabled persons and in particular the overwhelming barriers they face with respect to health, education, employment and work, and access to the physical environment. People with disabilities can and want to contribute actively and participate in their community and society. Their full participation depends on the removal of these barriers.

A step in this direction begins with challenging the myths that people with disabilities are incapable and helpless. This requires replacing images that depict disabled persons as sad, passive and dependent with those showing them with dignity and pride, as capable and independent individuals who can contribute towards changes in all spheres of life.

The issues and topics below are intended to provide ideas for stories on disability. They are also instrumental in the successful promotion of the rights of disabled persons and their full inclusion in society where they can achieve nancial and economic independence.



Journalists can play an important role in promoting improvements in national policies and programmes and making information about vital services as it concerns disability available as widely as possible. In doing so, journalists help raise the visibility of a segment of the population that is largely ignored, while increasing awareness among disabled persons about services and opportunities. In addition, awareness of relevant laws and policies on disability, including key international Conventions and standards, provides a foundation for journalists to more e ectively advocate for the protection of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.


STOP AND CONSIDER: Which laws and policies in your country help
to promote opportunities for people with disabilities? How are these laws being enforced, or what strategies are in place to support their implementation? How aware of these laws are employers, trade unions, businesses, or representatives of civil society? These are some areas that you as a journalist may wish to explore in your reporting.

ILO/P. Brown


Stigma and discrimination are among the main barriers that keep a majority of disabled women, men and children living in poverty, dependence and social exclusion. A human rights-based approach to disability regards limitations imposed on persons with disabilities by the social and the physical environments as violations of their basic human rights. However, these rights are often violated due to ignorance and lack of information.

In some societies, viewing disability as a “curse” is not uncommon. Such deep-rooted beliefs, ignorance and fear in uence the low expectations of people with disabilities and their families about their achievement, limiting their skills attainment and independence. The people that are skilled and able to perform certain types of jobs still face the same scepticism from potential employers. These factors contribute to people with disabilities living below the poverty level.

The media has the power to dispel these deep-rooted beliefs and myths surrounding disability and disabled persons. They can also raise awareness among both persons with disabilities and the rest of the public about the rights of people with disabilities to work and employment.


STOP AND CONSIDER: How often are stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities addressed in mainstream reporting?
Do you include disabled persons in your stories? Showing people with disabilities living in society, participating in every facet of life – at home, at work, shopping, relaxing with friends at a coffee bar, or simply being part of the population can help break down barriers and promote inclusion. How often do you showcase successful individuals with disabilities at work, as providers of services or as sources of information on various topics of concern to society?



Good accessibility bene ts everyone. Yet, without being able to access facilities and services found in the community – building, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, medical facilities and workplaces – persons with disabilities will never be fully included. Accessibility also extends to information and communication and includes such things as audio signals found at pedestrian crossings, presentation of information (e.g. Braille), signage for nding one’s way, among others.


STOP AND CONSIDER: Is there existing legislation in your country to encourage or help promote independent living and a more accessible environment? Stories offering examples of barriers present in the phy- sical environment or good practice on accessibility are a key to promo- ting societies that include everyone.



Equal access to education, skills training and the workplace is a key factor in promoting the economic empowerment of people with disabilities and improving their living standards. It is also a fundamental principle of cohesive societies. Achieving broad access to mainstream education and training and in using training to secure better opportunities for employment requires breaking down barriers that exclude people with disabilities.


STOP AND CONSIDER: What opportunities exist in your community
for people with disabilities to take part in skills training alongside non- disabled people? Are there good examples of businesses or employers who have hired disabled workers to create an inclusive workplace? Or, consider a story in which an individual with a disability lacks access to basic services, taking into account such factors as their frustration and disappointment, and what happens to them as they grow older.
Or, think about a feature story on a disabled jobseeker and how they go about finding work.




People with disabilities face many obstacles in their struggle for equality. Although men and women are subject to discrimination because of their impairments, women are at a further disadvantage because of the combined discrimination based on sex and disability. They face signi cantly more di culties - in both public and private spheres - in attaining access to adequate housing, health, education, vocational training and employment. They also experience inequality in hiring, promotion rates and equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, access to training and retraining, credit and other productive resources, and rarely participate in economic decision- making (O’Riley, A. 2007).


STOP AND CONSIDER: Are there examples of women with disabilities in your community who serve as role models for other women and girls like them? Consider stories that show disabled women claiming their identities and standing up for their rights to work, to basic services (health, education) and fair treatment. Look for opportunities to showcase these women at work or in their community and allow them to talk about a range of topics - “double discrimination” based on sex and disability; what work means to them and their families;
how they use the income generated from work, among other issues.


Yetnebersh Nigussie, in the above photo, is the Executive Director of the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD)in Addis Ababa.


Active in more than 20 volunteer groups dedicated to issues ranging from persons with disabilities to girls’ education to youth, she also chairs the Ethiopian National Association of the Blind Women’s Wing. “There is a lot of discrimination against people with disabilities”, she says. “Assisting others to independently support themselves is the way forward. We should capitalize on people’s ability rather than capitalize on their disability and hand them charity”.


One Plus One Beijing

Nearly 85 million women and men in China have a disability (www.cdpf. In Beijing, the ‘One Plus One’ Cultural Development Centre

is a media operation run entirely
by disabled journalists. Its radio programme provides people with disabilities with information on a range of topics including legal rights, new assistive technology and on how to improve life skills. Their radio shows now reach most parts of China.

One Plus One also works as an advocate for and monitor of disability rights and has submitted one of two mainland shadow reports to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on China in 2012.



Source: One Plus One Beijing (


ILO/HungTruong Dinh

ILO/H. Nguyen

ILO/A. Fiorente

The United Kingdom’s Cultural Diversity Network

The Cultural Diversity Network was founded in 2000 as a joint coalition of all major broadcast organizations in the United Kingdom to change the face of television and work towards fair representation of Britain’s ethnic population on screen and behind the camera.

By 2011 the Cultural Diversity Network and the Broadcasting and Creative Industries Disability Network (BCIDN) formally merged to form the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) with a remit extending to other aspects of diversity including disability, sexuality, gender and age.

Among CDN’s current members is the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). In 2014, the BBC announced a new disability strategy to address the representation of disabled people on and o the screen. Under the plan, measures to be introduced include: quadrupling the on-screen representation of disabled people by 2017; a pan-BBC Disability Executive to champion disabled talent and projects; developing the BBC’s existing schemes to recruit and retain disabled sta ; and, opening up even more opportunities for disabled people to work for the BBC.

Source: Creative Diversity Network (http://tinyurl. com/pnfofjt).




It is very important that both journalists and communications professionals connect disability issues with human dignity and rights. Here are some tips for promoting the positive portrayal of persons with disabilities:

Support the human rights-based approach. As noted previously, there has been a dramatic shift toward a human rights approach to persons with disabilities. This approach is linked to the social model in that it recognizes that a transformation within society is needed to ensure equality and justice for all. Human rights are the fundamental principles through which every individual can gain justice and equality. Ultimately, the human rights-based approach aims to empower disabled persons, and to ensure their active participation in social, economic, political and cultural life. Changes are needed in society to ensure this, starting by changing perceptions.

Focus on the person, not the impairment. In describing a person with a disability, focus on the individual and not on their particular functional or physical limitations. For example, say people with disabilities instead of the disabled; person of short stature instead of dwarf. Given editorial pressure to save space or accommodate design layouts, it is not always possible to put people rst. However, always strive to keep your portrayal positive and accurate: for example, disabled person, wheelchair user, deaf girl, blind person. (See also ‘Terminology’ for use of respectful language when referring to people with disabilities.)

Emphasize ability, not the disability (unless it is critical to the story).

For example, Mr. Jones uses a wheelchair, walks with crutches instead of Mr. Jones is wheelchair-bound, is di erently-abled. Avoid emotional words such as “unfortunate”, “pitiful”. Avoid sad music or melodramatic introductions when reporting on disability. Never refer to individuals with disabilities as the disabled.

Show persons with disabilities as active in society. Portraying people with disabilities as active members of society and not as passive and dependent helps to break down barriers and opens up opportunities.

Allow people with disabilities to speak for themselves. Experience shows that when a disabled person speaks with con dence and authority about a particular situation, non-disabled audiences are more likely to believe that people with disabilities are knowledgeable (ILO and Rehabilitation International 1994).

Don’t overemphasize disabled ‘heroes’. Even though the public may admire ‘superheroes’, portraying people with disabilities as superstars raises unrealistic expectations that all people with disabilities should achieve this level.


Women and men with an intellectual disability have the same wants and aspirations as non-disabled persons. Read what they have to say about what work means to them.


Benyam Fikru

“What does work mean to me?
I graduated in weaving at the Ethiopian National Association on Intellectual Disabilities (ENAID) Vocational Training Centre. At this time, I worked and produced cultural cloth. Work made me independent, like other people. I feel so con dent myself that I would be able to work and live my life like any other man”.



Jacqueline Minchin


Jacqueline works part-time as a clerical assistant at Penglais secondary school in Aberystwyth, Wales. Work is extremely important to Jacqueline. It gives her self-esteem, a sense of doing a worthwhile job and having a role in society. Her job also provides an opportunity to socialize, and gives a structure to her day as well as independence from the family.


Source: ILO: People with Intellectual Disabilities – Opening Pathways to Training and Employment in the African Region, Lusaka, Zambia, 9-11 March 2010.



What can the media do to support reporting on disability and promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in all spheres of society? Here are some recommendations:

  • Raise awareness of the challenges facing people with disabilities and issues surrounding disability, and factors that contribute to the exclusion and

  • stigmatization of people with disabilities.
    Bring discussion of disability into the public arena to challenge the idea of it as a

  • taboo subject.

    Feature examples of people with disabilities as providers of expertise, services,

    assistance and as contributors of nancial support to their families and

  • communities.

    Promote the message that people with disabilities are present in every community across the globe. They have the same range of emotions, interests, talents, skills and behaviour as the rest of the population and should be portrayed as having the same complexity of personality and experience as other people of similar age and situation.

In Ethiopia, more and more media outlets are taking on the issue of disability. Programmes such as “Dimtsachin” (Our Voice), a one-hour weekly show transmitted on radio Fana FM 98.1 in Addis Ababa, are among those leading the way. Run by Gedle, a young journalist with

a visual impairment, the programme aims to raise awareness about disability and to promote interactive discussions on the theme of inclusive development.

ILO/Minchin ILO/R. Kapur



Both words and images used to describe a person or situation can have a positive or negative effect. Avoid categorizing a person based on their disability. Refer to the person and not the disability. The following guidelines are suggested:



Economic empowerment is widely recognized as a key factor for enhancing the autonomy of persons with disabilities and their full participation in society. Among the key human rights instruments and international standards that promote the economic empowerment of people with disabilities through inclusive social protection and poverty reduction strategies are:


ILO Standards

Promoting access of persons with disabilities to vocational rehabilitation, skills development and employment as a means of improving their standard of living is an underlying aim of ILO standards relating to persons with disabilities.


The primary ILO standard is the ILO Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention, 1983 (No. 159) and its accompanying Recom- mendation (No. 168). It calls for action at the national level for the development of vocational rehabilitation and employment services for disabled persons. Article 8 calls for measures to promote the establishment and development of vocational rehabilitation and employment services for disabled persons in rural areas and remote communities. The accompanying Recommendation (No. 168) emphasizes the importance of fullest possible community participation in the planning and organization of such services.


As a practical tool to help give e ect to the instruments on disability, the ILO adopted the ILO Code of Practice on Managing Disability in the Workplace, 2002. The Code re ects the signi cant changes that have taken place in the understanding of disability, and in legislation, policies and services concerning people with disabilities since 1983. The Code is primarily geared to employers. Though not a binding document, it was unanimously adopted at a tripartite meeting of experts.




Aflicted by multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, etc.

c Person who has cerebral palsy, etc. c Person with cerebral palsy

Attack, spells, ts

c Seizure

Birth defects, deformity

cPerson born with a disability
c Person with a disability from birth

The blind, the visually impaired

c Person who is blind
c Person with a visual impairment

Con ned to a wheelchair, Wheelchair-bound

c Person who uses a wheelchair c A wheelchair user

Crazy, insane, mad, demented, psychotic, lunatic, schizophrenic, deviant

c Person with a mental health disability c Person who has schizophrenia, etc.


c Person with a physical disability c Person with a mobility impairment c Person who walks with crutches c Person who uses a walker

Deaf-mute, deaf and dumb

c Person who is deaf
c Person who is hearing impaired

Di erently-abled

c Person with a disability

Disabled community

c Disability community

(the) Disabled

c Person with a disability c People with disabilities c A woman with a disability c A man with a disability

Dwarf, midget

c A person of short stature

Handicapped seating, parking, washrooms

c Accessible seating, parking, washrooms


c Person with a disability

Mentally retarded, idiot, imbecile, slow

c Person with an intellectual disability c Persons with learning disabilities

Mongoloid, mongolism

c Person with Down Syndrome


c Person without a disability c Non-disabled person


c Person who has muscle spasms

Su ers from, stricken with Cripple

c Person with a disability
c Person who has cerebral palsy, etc.

(Disability is not synonymous with suffering)


Source: Excerpted from Suggested language for people with disabilities: Together We Rock!

The ILO is devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in addressing work-related issues.

There are also a range of ILO standards and declarations of relevance on non-discrimination, social security and others that promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities so that they can be economically empowered to improve their own livelihoods and contribute to the development of their communities and broader societies:


• The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, 2008 Underscores the importance of creating a sustainable institutional and economic environment that enables individuals to develop and update the capacities and skills they need to enable them to be productively occupied for their personal ful lment and the common well-being. Other parts of the Declaration call for the extension of social security to all, including measures to provide basic income to all in need of such protection. Gender equality and non-discrimination is also central to the Declaration


• ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) Around the world, the existence of discrimination in employment and access to di erent occupations prevents too many men and women, including disabled persons, from participating in the labour market and reaching their full potential and needs to be addressed in national policies. Convention No. 111 on discrimination in employment and occupation is one of the fundamental Conventions of the ILO.

Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)


Provides guidance to member States in establishing and maintaining nationally de ned social protection oors as a fundamental element of their national social security systems. Some of the principles set out in the Recommendation are of particular relevance for persons with disabilities, including the principles of non-discrimination, gender equality and responsiveness to special needs, as well as respect for the rights and dignity of people covered by the social security guarantees (ILO 2012a, 2012b).


ILO Human Resource Development Recommendation, 2004 (No 195)

Aims to assist member States to develop the knowledge and skills of their workforce to improve competitiveness and productivity, while at the same time promoting social inclusion and decent work. The Recommendation also addresses key skills concerns faced by low income countries, such as the migration of skilled workers or “brain drain” and the need for innovative approaches to funding training.


ILO Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (No 193)

Encourages cooperatives, as enterprises and organizations inspired by solidarity, to respond to their members’ needs and the needs of society, including disadvantaged groups. Cooperatives’ success in meeting the needs of women and men with disabilities rests on the cooperative values and principles that guide their operations: non-discrimination, equality, equity and solidarity, and an emphasis on education, training, and concern for community.


ILO Job Creation in Medium and Small Enterprises Recommendation, 1998 (No 189)
O ers a vision of a vibrant, job-creating, poverty- ghting small enterprise sector where a majority of women and men throughout the world earn their living. Small and medium-sized enterprises also help create an environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.

UN Human Rights Instruments concerning people with disabilities

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), 2006 and its protocol


The UN CRPD is an international human rights instrument intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. States Parties to the Convention are required to promote, protect and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities and ensure that they enjoy full equality under the law.

Article 1 on Purpose

“To promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity”.

Article 8 on Awareness-raising

Requires ratifying member States to combat stereotypes and prejudices and promote awareness of the capabilities of persons with disabilities.

Article 27 on Work and employment

“States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities.”

Article 28 on Adequate standard of living and social protection

Recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.


NORMLEX is the ILO’s information system which brings together information on International Labour Standards such as rati cation information as

well as national labour and social security laws, visit: http:// f?p=NORMLEXPUB:1:0::NO:::


The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966

Speci es the steps required for the full realization of the rights of everyone to social security, including social insurance, and to an adequate standard of living. In addition, Article 6 recognizes the right of everyone to work; Article 7 recognizes the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work; and Article 8 calls for States Parties to ensure the right to everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of their choice.


The Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (UN HRC 2012)

Highlights the particular vulnerability of persons with disabilities to extreme poverty. They emphasize the importance of the progressive development of comprehensive national social security systems to ensure universal access to social security for all and the enjoyment of at least the minimum essential levels of economic, social and cultural rights, in line with the ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202).


The Resolution on Work and Employment of Persons with Disabilities2

Calls upon States Parties to adopt and implement appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy the right to work on an equal basis with others, including by establishing and maintaining access to social protection programmes, including those created pursuant to


ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202), that support persons with disabilities in seeking, transitioning to and maintaining work and that recognize the additional costs that people with disabilities face in their access to the open labour market.



For over a decade the ILO has partnered with the Government of Ireland’s programme of development assistance, Irish Aid, and other stakeholders to promote decent work and a better life for people with disabilities. Through e ective legislation and its implementation, and advocating e ective approaches to skills development, employment services and job opportunities that include person with disabilities alongside non-disabled people, the partnership promotes economic empowerment as a way out of poverty and inequality.


The Partnership Programme’s main stakeholder groups are:



Promoting the right of persons with disabilities in the Global Development Agenda, 2015. (In English, French and Spanish. Available at

Achieving equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities through legislation: Guidelines, 2014.
(In English, French and Spanish. Available at record/461989?ln=en)

Managing disability in the workplace: ILO code of practice, 2002. (In English, French and Spanish. Also in Amharic, Arabic, Bosnian,

Estonian, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Mongolian, Nepalese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, and Ukrainian. Available at: record/349703?ln=en)

Business as unusual: Making workplaces inclusive of people with disabilities, 2014. (In English and Spanish.
Available at:

Count us in! How to make sure that women with disabilities can participate e ectively in mainstream women’s

entrepreneurship development activities, 2008. (In English. Available at: index.htm)


- Government

- Non-governmental organizations, including those for and of disabled persons

- Representatives of workers’ organizations

- Community groups

- Representatives of employers’ organizations

- Media

- International agencies


International Labour Organization (ILO)

ILO Programme on Disability and Work

ILO Global Business and Disability Network

United Nations Enable

United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

United Nations Special Rapporteur
on the rights of persons with disabilities SRDisabilitiesIndex.aspx

To order the above publications contact:

2 The Resolution on Work and Employment of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the Human Rights Council at its 22nd session in March 2013:


Buckup, S. 2009. The price of exclusion: The economic consequences of excluding people with disabilities from the world of work, Employment Working Paper No. 43, International Labour Organization, Geneva.

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Emerging Giant – Big is Not Enough. The Global Economics of Disability, March 1, 2012, [accessed on 20.04.15].

Inclusion International. 2007. “The Human Rights of Adults with Learning Disabilities”, Report submitted to The Joint Committee on Human Rights Committee O ce, House of Commons, 24 May 2007, p. 2.

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ISBN: 978-92-2-1296058


Copyright © International Labour Organization 2010, 2015 First published 2010
Second edition 2015

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ILO Cataloguing in Publication Data Sanchez, Jeannette

Reporting on disability: guidelines for the media / Jeannette Sanchez; International Labour O ce, Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch. 2nd ed. - Geneva: ILO, 2015

ISBN: 9789221296041; 9789221296058 (web pdf)
International Labour O ce Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch.

disability / people with disabilities / workers with disabilities / employment opportunity / accessibility / rights of people with disabilities / role of ILO / terminology