Disabled are no longer cap in hand

8th November 1996 at 00:00
From Jenny Mitchell.

I urge you to stop using offensive and outdated language when referring to disabled people, and those with learning difficulties. A very good article, "Setback for special needs students", (TES, October 25) was marred by the over-used word "handicapped" under the headline.

Groups of disabled people have been stating for years their condemnation of words such as this, and negative phrases such as "confined to a wheelchair" or even "crippled". The word "handicap" derives from the injured veterans of the Napoleonic wars, who were forced to resort to begging on the streets (cap in hand) because of inadequate alternative means. Has society not moved on from those days?

JENNY MITCHELL 70a Norfolk House Road, London SW16.

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