TRC Chaperone Training

Course Overview

Program Administration

Rideshare Etiquette

Preparing Mentally

Words Matter

Assistive Devices

Dealing Sensitively

Service Animals

Meeting the client

Visible and Hidden Disabilities

Bloodborne Pathogens

Difficult Situations

Well-being of your client

COVID-19 Protocol

Online Certification Quiz

Words Matter

Just as some well-known four-letter words are offensive, some words used in referring to people with disabilities are equally offensive. The use of labels, such as disabled, blind or deaf, referring to a person may be perceived as demeaning.

Examples of offensive “labels”

  • Epileptic

  • Diabetic

  • Confined to a wheelchair

  • Courageous

  • Crippled

  • Retarded

  • Age’d

It’s true that some of these words, such as epileptic and cerebral palsied accurately describe a condition, but they do not define the person. Consider the difference in these two expressions:

“Stella is an epileptic.”

“Troy is a diabetic.”

As compared to

“Stella is a person with epilepsy.”

“Troy is a person with diabetes.”

The one acts to define the person and the other indicates a condition, but leaves room for other attributes, e.g., “Troy is an avid baseball fan who has diabetes.” Consider this difference as you work with those with certain challenges.


On the other hand, if you ask a person with a disability how they feel about these “labels”, you may hear them say that going too far towards “politically correct”, using phrases like “alternately abled”, will likely get you a chuckle.

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