Bias-Free Language: Celebrate Diversity

"Bias-free language means using terms that treat people with respect. Sometimes it means leaving out certain kinds of words altogether, such as not describing someone's physical characteristics when doing so serves no purpose."

-- Malinda McCain


Links Related to Bias-free Language

The Diversity Style Guide

Includes more than 700 terms and phrases related to race/ethnicity; religion; sexual orientation; gender identity; age and generation; drugs and alcohol; and physical, mental and cognitive disabilities. Definitions and information from more than two dozen style guides, journalism organizations, and other resources.

Gender-neutral language tips
Avoiding sexist mistakes without introducing grammatical or stylistic ones. Dennis G. Jerz, Associate Professor English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

"It's Okay to be Neither"
One teacher’s approach to preventing gender bullying in a classroom.

Key Terms ~ Race and Racism
A 3-page PDF you can download.

Guidelines for Racial Identification
Questions to ask yourself to decide if a word or phrase is racist.

Racial Terms You Should Avoid and Why
Some are debatable, while others are considered outdated or derogatory.

Positive Language about Adoption
Positive adoption language instead of the negative talk that helps perpetuate the myth that adoption is second best.

Disability Language Style Guide
National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University
Covers almost 200 words and terms commonly used when referring to disability. Can be used online or downloaded as a PDF.

Covering disability issues
Society of Professional Journalists
Written primarily for journalists but with many helpful terms referring to 20 percent of the U.S. population: people with physical and mental disabilities.

"Being Retarded" (Herding Cats blog)
Respectful language when talking about development. Phoebe Holmes, mother of four delightfully quirky kids, one of whom has some special needs.

Your Language Matters When Writing About Mental Illness
A two-page guide to help journalists choose respectful, neutral language when covering mental health issues. From the Mental Health Association of Portland. [PDF to download]

The Difference Between Hispanic and Latino
Latinos can also be Hispanic, but not necessarily. For example, people from Brazil are Latino, but they are not Hispanic, since Portuguese, and not Spanish, is their native language. Similarly, people may be Hispanic, but not Latino, like those from Spain who do not also live in or have lineage in Latin America.

Latina, Latino, Latinx vs. Hispanic: What the Words Mean. 
"Latinx" is a gender-neutral term used instead of "Latino" or "Latina" to refer to a person of Latin American descent.

The following links were sent to me from the Public Health Library, a list compiled in the hope of empowering and assisting those living with physical disabilities. Thanks!

Some of the links on this page are from the Journalist’s Toolbox, where most of the items are contributions of Dr. Clyde Shideler, executive director of CE Disabled Services in San Luis Rey, Calif., and Marcia Carlson and Thomas Link of the University of Wisconsin.