Signage for disabled updated

Kelowna is taking a stand against slapping outdated labels on people with disabilities.

Kelowna is taking a stand against slapping outdated labels on people with disabilities.

City politicians voted unanimously to remove the words “handicapped” and “disabled” from all municipal publications and signs, replacing them with the term “persons with disabilities.”

While the former descriptors may seem innocuous enough, city staffer Birte Decloux told city council they’re rooted in negative judgments which the accessibility advisory committee believes have seen their day.

“Although handicap is a common term in the sports world, it started in the 17th century, and (represented) someone with a cap in hand,” said Decloux, acting out a gesture associated with panhandling.

While Decloux’s use of “cap in hand” by definition is at odds with what’s been accepted into the etymology dictionary, all versions do indicate a shortcoming.

Explaining why the term disabled is inappropriate, Decloux said it’s an erroneous label and a stereotype because a person’s disability may affect only one aspect to his or her life.

Referring to wheelchair-bound athletes, she explained, “A person may feel extremely able, just unable to walk…Now the focus is on a positive attitude, not a historically negative term.”

For the most part people don’t like to be labelled, she explained, so it follows that community members with disabilities would prefer to be recognized for their individual abilities and contributions rather than broad generalizations.

Changes would bring the city in line with federal and provincial practices, as they’ve used the alternate terminology as the standard for their signage.

The cost to alter the wording, she added, would be minimal. Already city signage for parking and recreational facilities use the correct terminology.

Publications, forms and correspondence that aren’t up to snuff will be updated as they need to be replaced and the media relations department is working on a style guide.

 

Just Posted

Wildfire near Peachland shows no growth overnight

Fire chief Dennis Craig said wind was blowing the fire away from homes

Okanagan Mountain Park fire shows no growth overnight

The wildfire, also called Goode’s Creek wildfire, continues to burn near Kelowna

Update: Wildfire near West Kelowna mapped at 10 hectares

The wildfire near Glenrosa is considered out of control

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

UPDATED: Mount Eneas fire grows to 1,374 hectares

Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen issues evac alerts for properties in Area F.

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

From hot dog to not dog: stuffed toy prompts car break in

B.C. couple said dog toy had been in the backseat for 18 years without problems

Wildfire crews working to strengthen line around fire near Summerland

The Mount Conkle wildfire is 90 per cent guarded

Open water swimming from B.C. to Washington in 24 hours

The swim will take a full day, meaning Susan Simmons will be swimming in the black of night

Cigarette packs with graphic images, blunt warnings are effective: focus groups

Warnings considered effective flag ailments smoking can cause, like colorectal and stomach cancers

Canada’s title hopes quashed at Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco

On the men’s side, Canada was eliminated in the round of 16 as they were shut out by Argentina 28-0

‘We are doing the right thing:’ Protesters dig in at anti-pipeline camp

B.C. Supreme Court ruled in March that both the camp and a nearby watch house could remain in place

Astronaut drops in on Kraftwerk gig, plays duet from space

Alexander Gerst becomes an astronaut musician with live performance from International Space Station

Wildfires near Vernon extinguished

BX, Dee Lake and Irish Creek fires all out

Most Read