As we emerge from lockdown, Leonard Cheshire is highlighting new research that shows language is an active and passive barrier in the connection between disabled and non-disabled people.
As part of the new Words Hurt campain, the charity has collaborated with South Londoner and disabled rapper Kray-Z-Legz to launch a new rap and video titled ‘The Language of Disability’.
While writing the rap, Kray-Z-Legz, who was born with spina bifida, has drawn on some of his own experiences as a disabled person living in the UK and is now calling on listeners to actively educate themselves on disability, and to engage with disabled people.
The government has inclusive language guidance with words to use and avoid when writing and speaking about disability.
The new research, which featured disabled and non-disabled respondents, highlighted that amongst disabled respondents almost three in four disabled people say that more needs to be done for non-disabled people to understand that their words cause offence.
This was reflected amongst non-disabled respondents where two in five non-disabled people stated that they would be more likely to interact with disabled people if they knew the correct language to use.
One in five disabled respondents also say they have experienced outdated terms to describe them from non-disabled strangers in a public place. Almost a third of non-disabled respondents were worried about saying the wrong thing when talking to disabled people.
The campaign asks people to share the rap and video featuing Kray-Z-Legz with friends and family, and to join the conversation using #WordsHurt on social media to raise awareness of the need for correct and inclusive language.