meh. i would prefer people use handicapped or disabled. the other terms such as "differently abled" or "handicapable" are to me demeaning.


Yes, to me handicapped and disabled have always been interchangeable as my preferred terms.


I see the word “handicapping” used in a sports context, where one party is given an advantage to compensate for something they lack or to “even the playing field,” as the saying goes. There’s the sense that a handicapped person is one who is assigned calculated advantages (by supposedly neutral, unbiased, objective third parties) that allow them to compete in the game of life. I feel disabled is a more accurate term than most others. It literally means lacking (an) ability. Diff-abled ignores the lack and focuses on some other ability that is often irrelevant to situations at hand. Special needs also ignores disability in that it often emphasizes a person’s requirements for existence, education/employment, socialization, etc. It’s like referring to abled people as having/being “common needs.” [Ability] impaired inherently carries the assumption of brokenness, but this is also more accurate than diff-abled. To me, disabled is a statement of fact, and [ability] impaired is a statement of fact + undertone of despair. Diff-abled is a denial of fact, and handicapped is a plea for handouts in order to exist. Special needs is oftentimes a way of stroking providers’ egos (by highlighting the way(s) in which they personally work to make sure those special needs are met, for example). It really comes down to personal labels, I think. There’s a fairly strong pattern of proud disabled people who identify as “disabled” while those who become disabled later in life prefer terms like [ability] impaired or handicapped. It’s the language the powers that be use to refer to them, and so it is the language they use as well, unless they are able to socialize with other disabled people. A strong example of this is d/Deaf, h/Hard of h/Hearing, and hearing impaired people’s uses of the terms. Obviously just my opinion, and this became way longer than intended, but hopefully that makes sense. Edit: typos


Society is full of negative attitudes towards disability. Any related language, if it's in use long enough, will become associated with those attitudes and start to become offensive. Handicapped is an old word. If the underlying ableism isn't addressed, the context of many of the "correct" words of today will eventually change in the same way.


It is used the way people use “differently abled”. It also presumed capability.


Most people I’ve seen in the US use it when they’re trying to sound educated and fancy when talking about disability, because it’s the word they see on parking placards and lots of government stuff. So it comes from either “official” stuff, businesses (signage and stuff), or people who have no current knowledge. From etymonline.com “”equalize chances of competitors," 1852, but implied in the horse-race sense from mid-18c., from handicap (n.). Meaning "put at a disadvantage"” take from that what you will.


Because it comes from a game called "Hand in Cap". It's and old English game where you compare the value of different objects. I'm not an object and I don't want my "value" to be compared to others Disabled is the official term and there's nothing wrong about it. It's not a dirty word. Society makes it seem like it is but this will happen to every word we invent for "disabled/disability" because the society is ableist and thinks disability is a bad thing in itself. Society is the problem, not the disability and not the word "disabled". Btw I prefer "disabled person" instead of "person with disabilities". I'm also for example a "smart person" and not a "person with high intellect" or I'm a "small person" instead of a "person with lower body hight". It's just a normal adjective, a normal feature like many others that describe me, so I want it to be treated as such. I think it's important to talk about things like this because the words we use create our reality we live in, so thanks for asking :)


i never knew the origin that’s so interesting! and i completely agree with “disabled person” vs “person with a disability” because that’s just how the english language works. because in other languages (like welsh for example) the adjective comes second so it would be person anabl (person disabled) or bachgen fach (boy small)


If you want to know more about the game, here is an article about this topic [word histories: origin of handicap](https://wordhistories.net/2018/02/11/handicap-origin/) It's really interesting how there are lots of different words for disabled people in different languages and almost all of them have a...well...bad? sad? disturbing? background except for "disabled". I think this fact says a lot about how society thinks about disabled people. This person-first or identity-first discussion is the same in my native language. And although I don't get it in neither language both is still better than "differently abled" or "handicapable" lol


The more negative connotation attached to the word handicapped - someone who has a cap in their hand and goes around begging for money. I heard this from others.


That's not true. Also then it would be "capihand", not "handicap", because why change the order. It actually comes from a game called "Hand in Cap". Please don't believe everything you hear from other's. It's always best to do your own research.


I am in the UK and feel Handicapped is primarily used in the USA, we don't use it here, even though it's a recognised word. Personally I don't use or refer to myself as Handicapped, I don't hate it, I just find it's not a word we need to use here in the UK. Disability or Disabled are perfectly acceptable words as they are not emotive or offensive and are a factual and universal description that covers all aspects of disability both visible and non visible without the need to go into personal individual specifics. And if Handicapped works for you then that's also fine. I dislike all the variations of 'differently abled' and the plethora of alternatives. I feel like these words, phrases and descriptions were made non disabled people to make them feel more comfortable around us. I find it gets patronising to the point they want to re-label us for positivities sake or their own comfort, rather than reality of our situations, I feel it's just a step down from inspiration porn when used by non disabled people. Now any disabled person has the right to refer to themselves however they want, and no-one has the right to say otherwise. But in terms of referring to us as a whole the existing words are fine and work well and diluting the current words will just hinder our causes for inclusion, respect our rights and dignity. This is just my humble opinion from my perspective of seeing so many terms come and go to suit varying times. With Disabled, Disability and Handicapped in the USA to ultimately remain the main terms.


>I dislike all the variations of 'differently abled' I do as well. Just a reminder to everyone that the term "differently abled" originated from the Democratic National Committee back in the 1980s; to make them seem inclusive I guess? It's an inherently political term that no one asked us about beforehand. 😒


it's a legal term that implies severe disability that interferes with several bodily functions on the daily "some people dislike" that because it's a category that they are excluded from and they want everything to be "me too"


Because people have nothing better to do and the internet says so. Google handicapped and it says it's offensive and outdated. I don't ever remember getting a pole for this but yeah the internet must be right.