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Communicating Without Bias Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) These guidelines aim to help staff and students recognise and avoid unintended discriminatory practices in all modes of communication. They suggest common sense principles for ensuring that the way we communicate acknowledges and respects the different experiences, lifestyles and ways of being represented in our diverse community, to support an inclusive and safe work/study environment.


(2) These guidelines apply to all staff and students.

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Section 2 - Policy

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(4) Nil.

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Section 4 - Guidelines


(5) Charles Sturt University (the University) is committed to preventing discrimination and harassment, providing a work and study environment that supports productivity, academic achievement, dignity and self-esteem of every student and employee.

(6) Effective and respectful communication requires clear and inclusive language and presentation. Inclusive language aims to convey meaning accurately without causing offence or alienating individuals and avoiding communication practices that may harm, demean, exclude, stereotype or trivialise people based on identity, culture, beliefs, personal attributes or community membership(s). This means examining the assumptions and values that inform the communication choices we make.

(7) Inclusive language and presentation in the preparation of administration and teaching materials, lectures, assignments and other spoken or written communications by employees and students ensures a supportive work and study environment that encourages participation and respectful interaction.

(8) Promotional and educational materials should reflect the social and cultural diversity of the University, the Australian community, and the international context of education and employment in Australia. These materials should not be demeaning to, or exclusive of, individuals, groups of people or communities. However, where potentially offensive material is used intentionally for teaching purposes, captions or verbal explanations as to the relevance of the non-inclusive material should be provided.

Language and gender

(9) The role of language in reinforcing gender stereotypes is widely recognised. Many common words and expressions are experienced as 'sexist' because they imply a value system that gives unequal status to different genders. As our language is the cultural filter through which we perceive or construct what is to us 'real' or 'normal', continuing to use unexamined and value laden linguistic practices can render women and people of other genders invisible or trivialise and denigrate their contributions to society. Non-discriminatory communication includes all genders and does not exclude or privilege certain genders over others.

Words that reinforce invisibility

(10) Much of the sexism inherent in the English language stems from the absence of a gender neutral singular pronoun and the use of man as a generic term. In the past, it was accepted English to use he (him, his) as a word of common or indeterminate gender. This can be confusing or misleading, as it is difficult to disassociate the pronoun he (his) from its male denotation. Such use of language renders women and people of other genders invisible. Good communicators will look for ways around this limitation.

  1. Only use he, him, himself or his when referring specifically to people who you know identify as male.
  2. He and she, she/he, s/he or his/her are not appropriate as they exclude people who identify outside the gender binary.
  3. They and their are recognised in the Macquarie Dictionary as a singular pronoun.

(11) Accepted alternatives include:

Instead of: Use:
He/she, him/her They, their, or rephrase the sentence.
The student must submit his/her assignment by Monday.
  1. Students must submit their assignments by Monday (plural)
  2. Students must submit the assignment by Monday (personal pronoun omitted)
  3. Each student must submit their assignment by Monday (‘they’ as a neutral singular pronoun)
  4. Assignments must be submitted by Monday (passive voice)

(12) Avoid the use of man as a generic term and compound words involving the syllable ‘man’. Use a gender-inclusive alternative instead:

Instead of: Use:
chairman presiding officer, chairperson, chair, convenor, coordinator, president
to man to staff, operate, attend
manpower human resources, labour force, personnel, workers, workforce
spokesman spokesperson, representative
the origin of man the origin of humanity
manmade manufactured, synthetic, machine-made, hand-crafted

(13) Avoid generalisations and cliches that overlook the contributions of women and people of other genders.

Instead of: Use:
brotherhood of man human family, global community
forefathers ancestors, forebears
founding fathers founders, pioneers

Unnecessary references to gender

(14) Avoid irrelevant, gratuitous gender descriptions that imply deviation from the norm. People of all genders work everywhere and occupational titles should acknowledge this fact.

Instead of: Use:
a woman doctor a doctor
a male nurse a nurse
the cleaning lady the cleaner
authoress author
actress actor


(15) Avoid descriptions or assumptions based on stereotypes. When referring to the same characteristic or pattern of behaviour in different genders, use parallel language

Instead of: Use:
ambitious men and aggressive women ambitious and aggressive people/individual/person
workers with wives and children to support workers with families to support

(16) Avoid gratuitous references to physical characteristics and undue emphasis on the role of gender (especially for women) in family life.

Instead of: Use:
Jane Andrews is an attractive and industrious student. Jane Andrews is an industrious student.
A mother of three has been appointed as Head of Law. Associate Professor Ellen Bates has been appointed as Head of Law.

Expressions that can trivialise

(17) Avoid expressions that can be experienced as patronising and demeaning (e.g. using endearments like dear, darl, love or sweetie in situations that do not call for such intimacy) or referring to adult women as girls in a context where male adults are referred to as men.

Instead of: Use:
the girls in the office the staff, admin team or administrative professionals
women (except when used in parallel with gentlemen) when referring to people who you know identify as women, or
people, folks (gender neutral)

(18) Avoid sexist descriptions, compliments and put-downs such as:

  1. not just a pretty face
  2. played like a girl
  3. thinks like a man
  4. man up.

(19) Steer clear of sexual innuendoes or jokes that trivialise or demean people or situations based on gender.

Titles and modes of address

(20) If you know a person's preferred title, use it. Otherwise, be consistent in the use of titles and salutations. Use a neutral title, academic title or no title.

(21) In selecting a title or salutation, do not make assumptions about the gender of anyone who is unknown to you.

(22) Use alphabetical order for lists of names unless order of seniority is more important.

(23) When describing relationships, use the term ‘partner’ rather than ‘husband’ or ‘wife' to include people of other genders and people in other types of relationships

Instead of: Use:
Miss or Mrs Ms (this title indicates gender but not marital status, parallel to Mr) - unless the individual prefers Miss or Mrs
Mx (a gender-neutral title that includes non-binary identities and people who do not wish to use gendered titles)
Dr Joe Black and Anne Smith Dr Joe Black and Ms Anne Smith
Maria Francesco and Dr Wang Assoc Prof Francesco and Dr Wang
Maria Francesco and Lee Wang
Dear Sir Dear (Title)(Last Name) or Dear (First Name)
Dear Colleague
To whom it may concern
John Brown and wife
Sue Brown and husband
John and Sue Brown (if both given and last names are known)
John/Sue Brown and partner (if the name of the partner is not known)

Language, sexuality and gender identity

(24) Inclusive communication is integral to creating a safe environment for students and staff of diverse sexual orientations and genders. Some historical and colloquial language used to describe people of diverse sexual orientations and genders can be harmful, negative, offensive, inappropriate and/or discriminatory.

(25) The following list of LGBTQIA+ terms provides a starting point for a shared understanding of some commonly accepted terms related to diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

asexual/ace Someone who experiences little or no sexual attraction to others. Asexual people may or may not experience romantic attraction towards other people.  
bisexual/bi Someone who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people of the same gender and people of different gender(s), including non-binary genders.
brotherboy and sistergirl
Sistergirl and Brotherboy are genders from Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The terms are not analogous to transfeminine and transmasculine as understood in the non-Indigenous LGBTIQA+ community, and were coined directly by First Nations individuals. 
Someone who describes themselves as a sistergirl or brotherboy is understood to live their life through gendered experiences that aren't consistent with their assigned gender at birth. This includes gender identity but also cultural identity, social role, and other gendered aspects of the Indigenous cultural worldview. Because of this, the terms do not explicitly refer to those who may otherwise be described as transgender. 
A sistergirl may be a transgender woman, a transfeminine non-binary individual, a feminine gay man, a drag queen, or any other permutation. 
A brotherboy may be a transgender man, a transmasculine non-binary individual, a masculine lesbian/sapphic individual, a drag king, or an otherwise butch individual. 
Sistergirls and brotherboys may not consider themselves to identify as the gender the word may imply; one may be a sistergirl but not a woman. 
Like many concepts of gender from First Nations individuals, the First Nations Australian concepts of gender, including sistergirls and brotherboys, is not best understood in terms of Western gender-descriptive language and should not be misunderstood as being a term for transgender individuals.  
First Nations culture surrounding gender was affected by colonisation which attempted to enforce gender roles based on physicality rather than spirituality (body parts instead of gender experience).  
First Nations culture around Australia varies and many sistergirls and brotherboys are subject to homophobia and transphobia in their communities, a significant deal of which is due to colonial enforcement of strict gender. 
cisgender/cis  Describes a person whose gender is the same as the sex assigned to them/was recorded at birth. 
deadname  A term used by some trans and/or gender-diverse people to refer to the name they were given prior to affirming their gender.
gay Someone who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people of the same gender as themselves. Often used to describe men who are attracted to other men, but this term is also used by some women and gender diverse people. 
gender affirmation An umbrella term used to describe a range of actions and possibilities involved in trans people living, surviving and thriving as their authentic gendered selves.
gender diverse An umbrella term for different genders and gender experiences. Gender diverse individuals may use a range of terms to describe themselves and/or their experiences and these terms may change over time at an individual or community level.  
gender identity The innermost concept of self for an individual. May be the same or different to the sex someone was assigned/recorded at birth and what is indicated on legal documents. Common gender identities include: woman/female, man/male, non-binary.  
A socially constructed view of society that heterosexual relationships are the only ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ expression of relationships and sexualities.
intersex Describes people who have innate sex characteristics that don’t fit medical or social norms for female or male bodies, and that create risks or experiences of stigma, discrimination and harm. Refers to a person’s body not their sexuality or gender.  
legal name A person’s name listed on their birth certificate or other official documents. Also refer to ‘name’ and ‘deadname’ in this list.     
lesbian A woman (cis or trans) or gender-diverse person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to women.
An acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and gender diverse, Intersex, Queer, Questioning and Asexual. The plus (+) sign represents community who identify with a sexual orientation or gender that isn’t included within the LGBTIQA+ acronym.   
Used at Charles Sturt as an inclusive umbrella abbreviation to describe diverse genders, sexual orientations and sex characteristics.
name (as opposed to preferred, previous, old or dead name)  The name a person uses and is known by. May be the same or different to their legal name – also refer to ‘deadname’ and ‘legal name’ in this list.
A term used by/for people whose gender sits outside of the man/woman or male/female binary.  
A non-binary person may feel like they have a mix of genders, no gender at all, or use non-binary as an umbrella term. An individual may consider themselves as genderfluid, genderqueer, trans masculine, trans feminine, agender, bigender, or something else.
Someone who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people regardless of their gender.
pronoun/pronouns Words that are used to refer to people when not using their name. The most commonly used pronouns include: she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs, however a range of pronouns (referred to as neopronouns) exist.
Often used as an inclusive umbrella term for diverse sexualities and genders. The term is used by some individuals (especially younger LGBTIQA+ people) to describe their gender or sexuality as an identity that falls outside of cis-heterosexual norms.  
Queer has historically been used as a slur and as a result some LGBTIQA+ people do not identify with this term and find it offensive. However, other LGBTIQA+ people have reclaimed the term as empowering and preferable for emphasising the connection between and solidarity of the diverse identities within the community.
questioning A term used to describe people who are exploring or questioning their gender and/or sexual orientation. People may not wish to have or assign labels to these parts of their identity for different reasons, but it’s important that they are welcomed and included in the LGBTIQA+ community.
sex or gender assigned at birth/
presumed gender at birth/
sex recorded at birth  
The sex or gender identity recorded on someone’s birth certificate declared at birth by attending medical professionals based on their judgment of external sex characteristics and reproductive organs.
sexual orientation/
Describes someone’s experience of intimate, sexual, and/or romantic attraction to others. It can include sexual identity (how someone thinks of their sexuality and the terms they identify with), attraction (romantic or sexual interest in others), behaviour and/or relationships.  
Different terms can be used to describe sexuality and they may be used in terms of feelings, behaviours or experiences.
An individuals sexual orientation or sexuality may be fluid and change over time, or can be the same throughout their lifetime.
trans/transgender Someone whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the gender they were assigned/presumed at birth. While many in the community use this term, not all trans people will use this term to describe themselves.
Sources: ACON and Victorian Government 

(26) Some basic principles for facilitating communication that acknowledges diverse sexualities and genders include the following:

  1. Avoid making assumptions about sexuality and gender. Don’t assume that people have a heterosexual or cisgender identity.
  2. Avoid hetero-normative language and concepts such as assuming the gender of someone’s partner. Use non-gendered terms like ‘partner’ or ‘spouse’ instead of ‘husband’ or ‘wife’.
  3. When talking about families, ensure that you’re inclusive of diverse family structures and relationships. 
  4. Respect privacy and confidentiality and do not introduce discussions of gender or sexual orientation gratuitously. If there is discussion of these topics, ensure it is accurate and informed and that it does not force people to disclose personal information about themselves if they do not wish to.
  5. Ensure that the language you use to refer to sexual orientation and gender is appropriate and inclusive. Accept and respect how people define their gender and sexuality by using the terms they use to describe their identity. If unsure, ask for guidance from the individual or community you are referring to.  
  6. Avoid harmful, derogatory, outdated, and offensive terms. Some previously derogatory terms have been reclaimed by some LGBTIQ+ people but, as a general rule, it is best for those who do not claim the identity themselves to avoid using these terms.
  7. Acknowledge diversity within the LGBTIQA+ community and the intersectional nature of identity. LGBTIQA+ communities and individuals are not homogenous. There are a range of aspects that make up an individual’s identity and experiences.
  8. Respect pronouns and names. Using someone’s correct name and pronouns is essential to creating a sense of safety and inclusion for everyone. Normalise the sharing of pronouns in your setting by sharing yours when you introduce yourself or by displaying them in online settings and email signatures. 

Language, ethnicity and culture

(27) Australia has a richly diverse population, comprising people from different racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds, some of whom are Indigenous. However, such diversity can be rendered invisible when texts and imagery convey a predominantly Anglo-Celtic image of Australia. Language plays a crucial role in mediating social relations and group dynamics. It can reinforce both negative and positive perceptions about other people. When it is used in a way that acknowledges and is respectful of cultural differences, it supports social cohesion and inclusiveness.

(28) Avoid linguistic omissions and imagery suggesting that Anglo-Celtic ethnicity is the norm, thereby implicitly excluding or marginalising people of other ethnic backgrounds. For instance, using the term ‘Australian’ to refer to Anglo-Celtic residents of Australia while using terms such as ‘migrant’ or ‘ethnic’ to describe Australians who are of different backgrounds others them and fails to recognise their status as Australian citizens. All people who are permanent residents or citizens of Australia are Australians.

(29) When it is relevant to refer to a demographic that specifically denotes people born outside Australia or Australians of non Anglo-Celtic background, use:

  1. immigrant (as opposed to migrant), denoting someone from another country who has become resident in Australia)
  2. people born overseas
  3. people whose first language is other than English
  4. people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

(30) Avoid irrelevant identification of a person or group by race or ethnic origin. Usually this practice is applied asymmetrically. For example, the media is more likely to indicate the cultural backgrounds of crime suspects if they belong to a minority ethnic group rather than if they are of Anglo-Celtic background.

(31) If it is important to specify the specific descent or ethnicity of a person or group to distinguish between people born in Australia, use a qualifier. For example:

  1. Vietnamese-born Australians
  2. Croatian-speaking Australians
  3. Australians of Greek descent or background.

(32) Recognise and acknowledge the diversity within and between racial and ethnic groups. Be cautious of using broad categorisations to include people with very diverse cultural backgrounds - for example, using the umbrella term ‘Asian’ to describe people (or their descendants) from such different countries as China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.

(33) Do not make inappropriate generalisations about ethnicity and religion. For example, not all people from India are Hindus and not all Arab people are Muslims.

(34) Avoid stereotypical assumptions that attribute particular behaviours or traits to specific nationalities or ethnic or racial groups.

(35) Avoid commenting on a person's accent.

(36) Do not refer to a person’s race or ethnicity unless it is a requirement of the context. Do not make jokes or use humour based on race or ethnicity.

(37) Use language that is accurate and non-emotive when discussing potentially contentious social issues that can fuel racism, such as immigration and refugees.

Instead of: Use:
boat people, queue jumper, illegal immigrant asylum seeker - a person who has fled their own country for fear of persecution, seeking protection as a refugee in another country (a right recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

refugee - a person who has been assessed and meets the criteria for refugee status under the Refugee Convention.

(38) The naming systems used by people of different religious and language backgrounds can differ markedly from those of the English-speaking world. In some cultures, no part of the name corresponds to the Western concept of first name (individual name) and surname/family name, or the order, significance and use of the different elements making up a name may vary significantly. It is important to check correct usage with the person when the naming system is unfamiliar.

(39) People immigrating to an English-speaking country will often adapt their name to conform to Western naming practices. Using terminology that is more broadly applicable assists this translation.

Instead of: Use:
Christian name, first name given name, personal name
last name, surname family name (or family name/surname)

(40) Avoid shortening the names of people from culturally diverse backgrounds without gaining their permission first.

Language, naming protocols and First Nations Australians

(41) The terms Indigenous, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have been used to describe First Nation peoples of Australia only since the time of colonisation. Before the arrival of Europeans, it is estimated there were between 200-300 language groups and many Aboriginal nations across the Australian continent. First Nations peoples identified themselves by geographical region (Country) and language. There was no common language across the continent and therefore no common word that denoted all First Nations people of Australia. The terms Indigenous and Aboriginal, which are generic terms denoting first peoples of any country, are capitalised when referring to Indigenous people of Australia.

(42) Use correct nouns when referring to First Nations people, including:

  1. Aboriginal peoples (describing the hundreds of culturally and linguistically diverse Aboriginal nations living in mainland Australia)
  2. Torres Strait Islander people (describing the diverse island communities located in the Torres Strait)
  3. First Nations Australians, Indigenous Australians, the First Australians or the First People of Australia (describing both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people)

(43) It is acceptable to use ‘Aboriginal’, ‘Indigenous’ or ‘First Nations’ as an adjective but not as a noun (e.g. Aboriginal students, Indigenous Australians, First Nations staff).

(44) The term ‘Aboriginal’ does not apply to Torres Strait Islanders, and should not be used to refer collectively to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

(45) Do not use abbreviated terms such as ‘ATSI’ or ‘TSI’ as this is disrespectful. 

(46) Some words used by First Nations people to refer to themselves that are associated with broad geographic areas include:

  1. Koori - NSW and Southern QLD
  2. Koorie - Victoria
  3. Murri - QLD and north-west NSW
  4. Noonga/Nyoongah - South Western Australia
  5. Nunga - South Australia
  6. Yolngu - Arnhem Land
  7. Anangu - Central Australia
  8. Palawa - Tasmania.
It is not appropriate to assume that you can refer to First Nations people by these terms unless granted permission to do so. Such terms are specific to the areas in which they apply and it may be inappropriate to use them in situations where First Nations people from other areas are present.

(47) First Nations people may use their language or clan names rather than generic terms to refer to themselves. For example, the First Nations peoples of the areas in which Charles Sturt University’s campuses are located describe themselves as Wiradjuri, Gandangara, Ngunawal or Biripai (or Biripi) people.

(48) It is always important to check with the local First Nations community as to the preferred language to use when referring to First Nations people in the region. Within the University, the School of Indigenous Australian Studies, First Nations Student Services or First Nations Employment Advisers can provide advice on language or other protocols associated with ensuring respect and sensitivity around First Nations issues.

(49) In First Nations communities, particular members are recognised for their wisdom and knowledge of their culture. They have the authority to speak about culture and are known as Elders. In some communities this term may denote status as a person who has been initiated through traditional law. Some Elders are referred to as ‘Aunty’ and ‘Uncle’ but you should only use these titles when given permission to do so.

(50) Some First Nations people have both an English name and a First Nations language name. If in doubt about what name or title to use, always ask.

(51) It is important to note that in many First Nations communities there is a range of protocols that are observed when a person dies. These can include prohibitions against using the name of the deceased person or displaying their image or broadcasting their voice. Such prohibitions should be observed and respected when working with First Nations organisations and communities.

(52) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people define themselves by their culture, 'country' and relationships to family and community, not by the colour of their skin (much like most other people). Historically, colonial governments attempted to classify First Nations Australians according to parentage and skin colour (e.g. full-blood; half-caste; quarter-caste; quadroon; or part-Aborigine). Discriminatory treatment (such as the removal of children) was based on these inaccurate and racist classifications. Such terms are extremely offensive to Aboriginal people and should never be used.

(53) Colonialists and early anthropologists had a very limited understanding of First Nations languages and cultures. Interpreting what they saw from their own cultural perspective, they lacked the concepts to comprehend the sophistication, complexity and diversity of First Nation languages and cultural practices. Lack of understanding has contributed to prejudice and discrimination, which impacts First Nations people to this day. It is inaccurate, misleading and offensive to describe First Nations cultures or activities using terms such as ‘primitive’, ‘savage’, ‘stone-age’, ‘nomadic’ or ‘walkabout’. Similarly, representations of Australian history that ignore First Nations peoples' prior occupation of the Land or that claim that Australia was settled peacefully rather than invaded and colonised with devastating impact on First Nations populations and way of life, are also misleading and offensive.

Instead of: Use:
settlement invasion, colonisation, occupation
Captain Cook discovered Australia. Captain Cook was the first Englishman to map the east coast of 'New Holland'.
Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth were the first men to cross the Blue Mountains. Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth were the first European men to cross the Blue Mountains, with guidance from local Aboriginal people.

Language and disability

(54) The language we use around disability often reflects the lack of knowledge and sometimes fearful societal attitudes. It is common to focus on disability and the incapacity we presume it entails. Instead, inclusive language seeks to acknowledge a person's humanity and individual agency, recognising disability as only one dimension in the rich complexity of their life.

(55) Person-first and identity-first language are both used by people with disability in Australia and individuals often have strong preferences for one approach or the other. Historically, focus on person-first language (emphasising a person before disability) has been used. However, many people with disability prefer identity first language (positioning disability as an identity category). It is best to be guided by the individual or group you’re discussing and if unsure about which approach to take, ask. If it is not possible to ask, use a person-first approach or refer to an individual by their name instead, rather than the disability. Do not call attention to a person's disability unless there is an appropriate reason for doing so. However, neither should disability be hidden, ignored or avoided. 

(56) Avoid the use of collective terms and derogatory labels to describe people with disability. The use of collective terms and labels denies individuality and can be de-personalising and offensive. Do not use terms like victim or sufferer, which imply powerlessness and dehumanise the person. On the other hand, stay clear of euphemisms such as ‘physically challenged’ and ‘differently abled’, which are patronising.

(57) Terms that define disability as a limitation do not reflect the actual experience people have of disability. If they experience disadvantage it is largely because of their physical and social environment (i.e. living in a non-accessible environment), rather than disability intrinsically.

Instead of: Use:
able-bodied, abled, healthy, normal, sighted, of sound body/mind, well  person without disability, non-disabled person
Aspy/aspie, ASD, high functioning/low functioning
person who has autism, person on the autism spectrum, person who is autistic, autistic/Autistic person (e.g. Jordan has autism, Jordan is autistic/Autistic)  
Note: some people on the autism spectrum identify as autistic/Autistic and consider autism to be a cultural identity beyond a medical diagnosis and may or may not identify as having disability. It is appropriate to describe someone who identifies this way as an ‘autistic person’. Be guided by the individual and if  unsure ask them their preference.  
the blind, person without sight a person who is blind, a person with a vision impairment, visually impaired, person with low vision
the deaf
a person who is deaf or hearing impaired, a person with a hearing impairment, hard of hearing 
Note: The Deaf or Deaf people (uppercase) is used by people who identify as part of the Deaf community and use sign language.
disabled toilet accessible toilet
hyperactive, hyper, space-cadet  person with ADHD, ADHDer (e.g. Sam has ADHD, Sam is an ADHDer) 
people living with disability, the disabled, special needs  people with disability, person with disability
intellectually challenged, handicapped, retarded, slow learner, special needs, simple a person with an intellectual disability, a person with a cognitive disability, a person with Down syndrome, a person with an acquired brain injury
mentally ill, mentally unstable, insane, manic a mental health condition, mental ill health, mental health problem (e.g. Morgan has a mental health condition)
paraplegic, quadriplegic a person who has paraplegia/quadriplegia (e.g. Alex has paraplegia)
psychotic, schizophrenic, borderline, depressive  a person who has schizophrenia/borderline personality disorder/depression (e.g. Pat has schizophrenia/borderline personality disorder/depression)
wheelchair bound, confined to a wheelchair a person who uses a wheelchair, a person who uses a mobility device 
mentally handicapped, retarded, slow learner, feeble minded a person with learning difficulties, with a learning disability or intellectual disability
victim of AIDS or AIDS sufferer a person who is HIV positive, a person who is living with AIDS

(58) Avoid comparisons that imply that disability is abnormal, such as using ‘normal’ or ‘able-bodied’ to refer to people without disability.

(59) Where possible, find out how the individual refers to disability and use the language with which they are comfortable.

Language and age

(60) Inclusive language reflects the fact that people of all ages are productive and contributing members of society. Age is not an indicator of ability.

(61) Refer to a person's age only where it is relevant to the situation. It is also good practice to avoid age related labelling unless actually relevant. Where reference is made to a particular age group, use language that is respectful and free of connotation.

Instead of: Use:
girls, boys, kids, juveniles (when not referring to children) young people, younger people
the elderly, the aged, pensioners, old woman/man, oldies, geriatrics older people, older adults, mature aged, senior citizens

(62) Do not stereotype or trivialise people based on generalisations or unfounded assumptions about their age group. For example:

  1. they’re young to be a manager
  2. over the hill or past their use-by date
  3. they’ve done an amazing job for a person that age.
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Section 5 - Glossary

(63) Nil.