People started to be noticeably nervous when they were coming near a description of my disability

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From Hacker News:

What was it, 10 to 20 years ago, people started to be noticeably nervous when they were coming near a description of my disability. It used to be so simple. I am 100% blind, and guess what, I prefer the term blind because it is pretty descriptive and relatively short. But all of a sudden, people external to the community started to fumble around with “visually challenged”, and all the nonsense variations of that in my native language. It is so weird, because it adds yet another layer of distance between “us” and the “normal” people. You can almost feel how the stumbling-word is making communication even more awkward. I (and almost all of my friends with a similar disability) make a point of letting people know that we actually prefer the word blind over everything else, and not even that does put people at ease. It sounds a bit provocative, but it feels like that: The language terror they were subjected to has made them so unsecure that they actually dont want to hear that blind people have no issue with being called blind. They somehow continue to argue, sometimes not wanting to accept that and going on to use weird language.

Its a weird phenomenon. The longer I watch all of this, and I also mean the gender-language-hacks, I feel like this move has added to the distance between various groups, not made it smaller.

It is so condescending to believe your own language-police more then the person you are talking to. Yet, the peer pressure seems to be so high that this actually happens. Sad.

. . . .

I see it as unintentional discrimination. It’s treating the people they are relabeling as children that need the kind progressives to step in and save them. It’s so condescending. Minorities don’t need white Knights to save them, neither do the disabled. If an individual wants me to not refer to them as x because they find it offensive, no problem. But a group of academics should not be able to sit around and decide that a group as a whole needs saving. It very much forces otherness on people and to your point furthers the divide. it forces us to see them as different.

Side note, and this is completely off topic and I really mean this in the most positive way but you typing here has completely altered my perception of the need for following web standards for accessibility. I don’t know any blind people in real life so really just assumed that accessibility standards really weren’t worth the effort as they wouldn’t make a difference. But here you are reading and responding in a manner that’s probably better than I do. I am 100% on board now. You opened my mind today, thanks for that.

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