Writing About People With Disabilities

Editor’s Note: Many of us unknowingly carry prejudices and misconceptions about people with disabilities. Sometimes, these are magnified in the media. This page was developed to put the media in touch with credible sources on people with disabilities and related issues. Most of the resources 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.


National Center on Disability and Journalism
An independent journalism organization, its mission is “to educate journalists and educators about disability reporting issues in order to produce more accurate, fair and diverse news reporting.” Lists programs, links, mailing lists, etc.

Considering Disability
Considering Disability: Considering Disability Journal is an entry-level global disability studies publication, established and operated by expert volunteers.

Medicare.gov

Center for Applied Special Technology

National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD)

Amputee-Coalition.org
Includes an OPAC that deals with limb loss, its secondary conditions and causes. A useful source for health reporters.

Chartbook on Disability in the United States

Recent Publications and Statistics
HEATH publications such as this one can be obtained via this George Washington University site.

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

The Ground Truth: Insights for Journalists Covering People with Disabilities

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
Information about rare diseases.

Post-Secondary Access

Chronicle of Higher Education

Disabled Student Services in Higher Education Listserv Archives

Association on Higher Education and Disability

Media Guide: 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.

Poynter: Tips on Covering Disabilities

Disaboom Politcal Blog
Focuses on interests and issues of people with disabilities.

Special Olympics
Volunteer, coaching information, stories, press releases, etc.

John P. Kennedy Foundation for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Volulunteer, coaching information, stories, press releases, etc.

Media Guide: 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.

National Center on Disability and Journalism Disability Language Style Guide
This guide covers more than 200 disability words and phrases, many not addressed in the AP guide. As far as we are aware it is the most comprehensive guide currently available. Also offered in Spanish.

Media Guide: 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.

Amputee Coalition of America

Alliance for Technology Access

Poynter: Tips on Covering Disabilities

National Center for Disabilities and Journalism

AEJMC: Mass Media & Disability Links
Links to many areas, including news, web accessibility, publications, international disability links, etc.

AboutDisability.com
Maintained by Anthony Tusler, this site is an annotated bibliography of books organized by categories.

Americans With Disabilities Act Home Page

Department of Justice: Disabilities Online News

Department of Justice: Formal ADA Settlements

Department of Justice: Accessible Sports Stadiums

Department of Justice: ADA Guide for Small Towns

Department of Justice: ADA Status Report

Institute for Community Inclusion: State Data Online
This Web site generates customized charts of state, national, and individual disability data. Accessible text versions are automatically created by the charting software. The site currently includes data sets from state mental retardation/developmental disabilities agencies, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

National Rehabilitation Information Center
An abundance of disability and rehabilitation-oriented information organized in a variety of formats designed to make it easy for users to find and use.

Not Dead Yet
Spearheaded by Coleman and Drake, this group organizes people with disabilities nationally to protest assisted suicide.

Center for Research on Women with Disabilities
Focuses on issues related to health, aging, civil rights, abuse, and independent living. Located at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.

Disability Rights Advocates
Dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Disabled Sports, USA
DS/USA now offers nationwide sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent physical disability.

California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Representing 92 rape crisis/rape prevention programs and allied members, this association offers resources and staff to answer questions on sexual abuse of persons with disabilities.

The Center for an Accessible Society
This site claims to “help journalists find quality information and sources.”

E-Library

Little People of America, Inc.

MadNation
A mental health site.

Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation
EDS is a connective tissue disorder that can be severely disabling and, in one form, deadly.

EDS Today
EDS is a connective tissue disorder that can be severely disabling and, in one form, deadly.

Ehlers-Danlos Support Group (UK)
EDS is a connective tissue disorder that can be severely disabling and, in one form, deadly.

Yahoo!’s Reference Library


Key organizations and government agencies

American Association for People with Disabilities

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: National Institute of Health

Office of Civil Rights (OCR)

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

National Council on Disability

National Federation for the Blind

The National Disability Sports Alliance (NDSA)
A national nonprofit organization, providing quality sports, recreation and fitness opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities. Primary disabilities served include individuals with cerebral palsy and survivors of brain injuries and strokes. Current sports offered include: athletics, boccia, bowling, cycling, equestrian, indoor wheelchair soccer, powerlifting, soccer and swimming.

National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury
Several statistics and studies on the topic.

The American Association on Mental Retardation

The Arc: National Association for Retarded Children

National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke

ADA Technical Assistance Program

ADAPT.org

National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation, Inc.

United Cerebral Palsy

Equal Opportunity Publications
Employment opportunities, online resume database, magazines, etc.

National Business & Disability Council
Employment opportunities, online resume database, magazines, etc.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Employment opportunities, online resume database, magazines, etc.

San Antonio Disability Handbook
For etiquette, and “people first” language.

Disability Awareness Training

Program Development Associates: Disability Awareness

ADA: Disability Awareness Training


Assistive technology and assistance dogs

Accessible Web Page Design

Assistive Tech

Disability Equipment

Closing the Gap

University of Wisconsin: Trace Research and Developement Center

TalkingSigns.com
“Talking signs” for the blind and others unable to read print.

Center for Applied Technology

WebAIM Web Accessibility

Web Accessibility Initiative Web Content Guidelines

“Accessible Blog” on Web Design

Tech Connections Newsletter
From the U.S Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Bookshare.org Digital Books
Web-based digital library of electronic books.

Alliance for Technology Access

ATA General Resources

Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

ADAPT.org

Little People of America, Inc.

National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation, Inc.

United Cerebral Palsy

Dog Trainers

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.

Information About Service Horses

Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence – Southeast Region

Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.

Guide Dogs of America

Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind

Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation


Disability research studies

California State University at Northridge: Center on Disabilities

University of Hawaii, Center on Disability Studies

DOIT University of Washington

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Legal issues

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

Disability Law: Attorney Pete Wright

U.S. Department of Justice: ADA and Law
Legal assistance for people with disabilities.

Findlaw.com: Case Law
Legal assistance for people with disabilities.


Autism/cognitive disabilities

Cognitive Designs Adaptive Technology Software

Attention Control Systems, Inc.

Brain Book Life Management System

Family Village

Autism Center

Families for Early Autism Treatment (FEAT)

Center for the Study of Autism

Autism Resources Network

Autism Resources

Autism National Committee


Learning disabilities

PBS: Misunderstood Minds
This companion site to the documentary “explores the controversial realm of learning disabilities with video, case studies, and tests that demonstrate what it’s like to live with a learning problem.”

LD Workshops, Training, Conferences

Dyslexia Awareness & Resource Center

International Dyslexia Association

LD Online
Parents, children and teachers.


Text-to-speech resources

Readplease.com

Bell Labs Text-to-Speech

12,000 E-Text Book Listings

Text to Voice and Conversion to MP3

Microsoft Accessible Features


Mental health and chronic migraines

National Mental Health Association

Center for Mental Health Services

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

MindFreedom.org

Peoplewho.org

NARPA Site

Cleveland Clinic Research Center for Headaches

Achenet.org: Research on Headaches

National Institute of Health: Headache Information


Deaf/hard of hearing

National Association of Deaf

HandSpeak.com Sign Language Site

DeafEd.net
Resources for educators teaching students with a hearing.

DeafLibrary.org Resources

National Black Deaf Americans
Cultural issues related to deafness and African Americans.

Cochlear Implant Association Inc.

Virtual Tour of the Ear

Demystifying Assistive Listening Devices

HearingLossWeb.com

ASHA.org

Deaf Linx
An extensive resource page with info on hearing loss, deaf culture, ASL and more.

Harris Communications
Assistive products designed for deaf.

Post Secondary Education Programs Network
Hearing impairment related resource.


Blind/low vision

National Federation for the Blind

American Council for the Blind

American Foundation for the Blind

Library of Congress: National Library Service for Blind and Physically Handicapped


Telecommunication access

Ultratec.com

Allergy/chemical sensitivity

LatexAllergyResources.org

Medical Research on Latex and Peanut Allergies

Food Allergy Network

The Edelson Center for Environmental & Preventive Medicine

NYU’s Nelson Institute of Environmental Medicine

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center: Environmental Health and Safety Office

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