We’ve all heard them. Hurtful terms — used likely out of ignorance — to describe people with disabilities.
To combat the ignorance and misunderstanding that can fuel poor word choices, students in “Attitudes, Power and Oppression: Introduction to Disability Studies,” an upper-division elective in the School of Social Work, created public service announcements in English and Spanish.
“During one of the first class periods, Billy Hrncir, originally from Laredo, was concerned about the terms used to describe people with disabilities in the Spanish-speaking community in Texas,” says Elaine Eisenbaum, a doctoral student in social work and the course instructor. “He questioned whether or not people who speak Spanish are ‘getting the memo’ about person-centered language.”
Eisenbaum encouraged the class members to create a project that would promote person-centered language and inclusion within the Spanish speaking community.
“Along the way the students researched current Spanish terminology, met with community members, wrote a script, recruited volunteers to star in the PSA, contacted Spanish language television networks and planned a community unveiling of the PSA,” she says. “The students intend to use this finished PSA as an educational tool.”
See more videos from the School of Social Work.
A version of this post originally appeared on the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement blog.