Monday, April 16, 2012

Easy for You to Say: My daughter did a speech for a college class about Special Olympics last week, and did a great job with it. Listening to her practice and watching the video of her performance, though, one thing that struck me is what a mouthful the term "intellectual disabilities" is. I remember, early in my days as a guide for, blogging about the push to replace the term "mental retardation" and wondering what wording would be best, and "intellectual disabilities" is a fine substitute, I think ... but when you have to say it over and over again in a speech, and pronunciation of big words is not one of your personal strong suits, it starts to be a liability. It made me wish there was an abbreviation that would be readily understood, but "ID" is too strongly identified with identification to work, particularly since some members of her class may unfortunately have been hearing the term "intellectual disabilities" for the first time. I think she was a great ambassador for Special Olympics and for respect, but for that particular terminology? Maybe not.

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