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Should we be using the word Handicapped on terrain?


Waroline
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4 hours ago, Waroline said:

On terrain setting easy says handicapped accessible this seems very behind the times on disability terminology.

Any suggestions?

 

I recently read an article that said that the word "handicapped" implies inability, so be sure to use the word "disability" instead.

And now I'm unsure if people who are changing words know what words mean.

 

So I can't say if terms need to be changed or not.  But there are more considerations for accessibility as it applies to Geocaching terrain rating.  There's a separate site that discusses these matters.  Here's a chart:

http://www.handicaching.com/ratingsystem.html

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I am technically handicapped, so I will put in my two cents.

 

I look at words in an odd way, perhaps. Here's my thinking:

 

The word "Handicapped" has a few possible origins, but I like the one that is taken from horse racing, where you put weights on a fast horse to slow them down. To me, this word is actually more positive (you're a fast horse that has to be slowed down), and could mean that you can do lots of things, but that you are eventually "capped" in your abilities.

 

The word "Disabled" feels more negative to me. It sounds more all-encompassing, like you aren't abled at all. One site I looked at said that in the 15th century, it was used to mean, "legally disqualified", and in the 16th century it meant that you were "Incapacitated" (unable to act or respond). 

 

So, personally, I'll take handicapped over disabled. Until someone comes up with a better term. :cute:

 

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2 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

Just to be clear, the op is talking about the tool tip on new cache creation page. Everywhere else on geocaching.com the term is ”wheelchair accessible”. 
 

The kneejerk reactions in this thread have been enlightening.


When this topic has come up before, the term “Wheelchair Accessible” was a problem.  It’s good to refer to the chart I posted, to define how accessible it is.  One of my caches seemed to apply, except the gravel made it a “Surface 3”.  That makes it less than Wheelchair Accessible.    People found it anyway, even in a wheelchair.

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3 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

Instead of us, you need to seek out the people who've somehow decided "handicapped" is a derogatory term, and have a word with them.

But be sure you're asking the people themselves what they prefer to be called. Sometimes the PC police make up terms that the people themselves don't like being called.

 

Just sayin'...

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Definition of handicap: "a circumstance that makes progress or success difficult."

 

If you need a wheelchair to get around that is, by definition, a handicap regardless of how you personally feel about it affecting your life.

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Definition of handicap

If we’re quoting dictionaries, mine has an usage note saying that ”handicapped” in the sense of referring to a person’s disabilities has been superseded.  Language isn’t constant.

 

 

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I don't think we non-disabled (sorry if this it not a word that should be used, probably it is not a word at all ;-)) should discuss this. We can't decide about how the affected people feel about a term - only they can do so themselves.

 

In Germany we have discussions about many wordings (lately about gendering as male and female endings are different, e. g. "Geocacher" (male) and "Geocacherin" (female), where mostly only the male form is used which changes slowly) and usually those who are not affected decide that those words can't be used/should be used and how the affected people should feel about the wording (we have many men saying that the female form shouldn't be used!??!). That's just wrong.

 

So I suppose that non of us should tell what is correct/not correct if we are not handicapped (again sorry if this is the right word to use) ourselves.

 

If the affected people have problems with the terms they should complain about it and make Groundspeak change it. And if they don't have any problems with the wording we shouldn't have it, too. I don't think we should decide for them that the words are bad.

 

Jochen

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15 hours ago, frostengel said:

I don't think we non-disabled (sorry if this it not a word that should be used, probably it is not a word at all ;-)) should discuss this. We can't decide about how the affected people feel about a term - only they can do so themselves.

 

 

 

I would hope it's OK to suggest consistency in terms within site functions.  As mustakorppi mentioned, the site mostly uses the term "wheelchair accessible".  That could apply to anyone who may at any time require a wheelchair and wish to Geocache in it.  It can and should be discussed for sure, by anyone who could be affected (even before, especially before, becoming wheelchair-bound).  Actually, since this subject is beyond the scope of Geocache attributes, that discussion is better suited to the specialized web sites (such as handicaching.com) where cache info can be made very specific about how accessible a cache may be. 

 

But while the site is using "handicapped" and "wheelchair accessible" synonymously, I'd expect the topic to come up from time to time. 

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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4 hours ago, frostengel said:

I don't think we non-disabled (sorry if this it not a word that should be used, probably it is not a word at all ;-)) should discuss this.

We can't decide about how the affected people feel about a term - only they can do so themselves.

 

If you're uncomfortable,  that's up to you.  :) 

A relative of mine (wheelchair bound) is a cacher.  We've created caches for other wheelchair cachers, and both of us had one as well.

We've discussed this off n on, usually after a meeting with a sensitive commiserate when out. He considers himself handicapped.

 - He rolls his wheelchair by hand on-trail.  "I don't help" is a common complaint. You all probably know what I tell them... 

No use of legs at all, yet climbs trees freehand, and has done rope climbs with only upper body too.  I need both legs to push myself up rope.

Similar to Ambrosia, if you break it down, the word disabled amounts to you're not-"abled".      This kid ain't it...

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The word 'handicapped' has definitely fallen out of favour. Partially because of its imprecision: it was not uncommon to read references to economic 'handicaps' too, for instance. Its meaning from centuries ago also hints at inequality and societal burden.

 

We're decades past the point of "well, who surveyed all the disabled people?" It *was* principally people with disabilities pushing for the cold, clinical 'disabled' for its relative lack of cultural baggage. (Though obviously views vary within any group.)

 

No one can really stop you from talking like it's still 1971 (this is hardly an issue of censorship, doowutchyalike) but in written communication it definitely draws attention to itself in 2021. If only for the sake of eliminating the distraction it's surely preferable to use a less old-fashioned word. When dictionaries and guidelines almost invariably advise that a term is on the nose the more interesting question is why the heck people with no skin in the game would even bother resisting.

 

 

Edited by BendSinister
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7 minutes ago, BendSinister said:

The word 'handicapped' has definitely fallen out of favour.

We should ask those who are handicapped for their opinion. I read some comments here where they find handicapped less negative than disabled. I can see that.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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4 hours ago, BendSinister said:

We're decades past the point of "well, who surveyed all the disabled people?" It *was* principally people with disabilities pushing for the cold, clinical 'disabled' for its relative lack of cultural baggage. (Though obviously views vary within any group.)

 

4 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

We should ask those who are handicapped for their opinion. I read some comments here where they find handicapped less negative than disabled. I can see that.

I'm confused. Did you

  1. not read the the passage from BendSinister that I quoted?
  2. disagree with the facts stated in it or mistake it for opinion?
  3. think the tooltip on cache creation page is somehow different from the general and needs to be polled separately?

Also, I'll keep pointing out that T1 specifically refers to a cache being loggable from a wheelchair, and is described as such everywhere else except this one tool tip. No one in this thread has argued for replacing the term "wheelchair accessible", and no one in this thread has suggested that this one tool tip should keep using a different term than everywhere else on geocaching.com.

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20 hours ago, justintim1999 said:
I've never thought about changing it........   Probably because I don't see the word as in any way negative.    
 
The way people use words can be offensive.   The actual words are not.

 

And exactly that is the problem:

 

In Germany we have white healhy men tell others that ...

1) ... there is no racism using some words.

E. g. the name "Negerkuss" (might translate to "negroes kiss") is discussed regularly. It is an old name of a sweety food containing the word "Neger" for .... I don't know how to say it correctly ... black/coloured people. The word has been used in the past but over time was found racist so shouldn't be used. Consequently "Negerkuss" has been renamed to something like "Schokokuss" ("chocolate kiss"). But old white men tell us that it was always "Negerkuss" and there is no reason to change it.

2) ... there is no need to gender a word using the female form also, the male form is enough for both (or all - there are more than two) genders. And of course there is no gender pay gap (which still exists - in many branches men earn a lot more than women).

3) ... "behindert" (disabled, handicapped) and other terms are harmless.

4) ...... (There are many more examples.)

 

I am assure that this is not a German-only problem.

Case 1 can only be decided by the black (correct?) community. If they say the word "Negerkuss" is okay, it is okay. But white can't decide.

Case 2 can only be decided by women. If they say, the men form is enough - and many do - it is okay. But if they say for equality they want to have both forms men shouldn't argue but many men start to give those women "names". (The gender pay gap is absolutely wrong, of course. There is no reason to defend it.)

And so on....

 

By the way it works the other way round, too. Whenever the discussion comes to this topic someone will state that Germans are called "Almans" sometimes which is kind of racist, too. Then others say that we should not be so petty-minded but again: it is not them to decide if we are offended by this or not. It is us. Personally I don't care but others do - and so no one should say that this word is okay. I can say this word is okay for me, others say that the word is not okay - but how can someone (not being an Alman ;-)) decide?

 

Jochen (<- priviliged white man without disabilities)

Edited by frostengel
grammar/typo
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3 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

"wheelchair accessible"

That's what I use too. I imagine if my mother (who uses a wheelchair) could reach the cache, and many T1 caches do fail. It's not just up, but it's down low, under things too that can be difficult to reach.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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