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Resource Guide > Journalism > Tools: Disability Reporting

Tools: Disability Reporting

Last Updated July 28, 2022

These style guides, reporting guides, and databases can help reporters cover stories about people with disabilities thoughtfully and accurately.

Language, Please: Disabilities, Neurodiversity, & Chronic Illnesses

Link: Language, Please

Creator: Vox Media and Google News Initiative's Innovation Challenge

About: "Language, Please is a living resource for all journalists and storytellers seeking to thoughtfully cover evolving social, cultural and identity related issues.... This section of the Language, Please style guidance aims to provide tools for avoiding common pitfalls and stereotypes when discussing disabilities and illnesses."

People First Language Articles

Link: Disability is Natural

Creator: Disability is Natural

About: On this page, you'll find examples of how to use people first language when referring to people with disabilities in English, Spanish, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian.

Conscious: Ability + Disability

Link: Conscious Style Guide

Creator: Karen Yin

About: "Conscious Style Guide is the first website devoted to conscious language. Our mission is to help writers and editors think critically about using language—including words, portrayals, framing, and representation—to empower instead of limit. In one place, you can access style guides covering terminology for various communities and find links to key articles debating usage."

Disability Language Style Guide

Link: Disability Language Style Guide

Creator: National Center on Disability and Journalism, Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

About: "As language, perceptions and social mores change rapidly, it is becoming increasingly difficult for journalists and other communicators to figure out how to refer to people with disabilities. Even the term “disability” is not universally accepted. This style guide, which covers dozens of
words and terms commonly used when referring to disability, can help. The guide was developed by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and was last updated in the summer of 2021."

Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health

Link: The Carter Center Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health

Creator: The Carter Center

About: "Behavioral health conditions, which include mental and substance use disorders, are a major public health issue and may be central to a news
story. The news media have the power to help the public better understand these conditions by providing accurate depictions of individuals with
mental illnesses and substance use disorders that avoid sensationalizing the news item and counter the misperceptions, prejudice, and negative
beliefs that are often associated with these conditions. Fair and accurate coverage in the media can help create a society where people feel supported and are willing to seek and receive help for behavioral health problems. The following guidelines may help you report accurately, fairly, and sensitively on mental illness and substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders (concurrent mental and substance use disorders)."

Comprehensive Guide to Covering Long COVID

Link: Body Politic's Comprehensive Guide to Covering Long COVID

Creator: Body Politic

About: This document provides detailed guidance to any reporter covering Long COVID, including language to use, how to find patient sources, and who is most impacted by the condition.

Long COVID Source List

Link: Long COVID source list

Creator: Fiona Lowenstein and Betsy Ladyzhets

About: This database is a helpful tool for reporters looking to connect with patients who have Long COVID, experts, and other individuals who are knowledgeable about related condition and experiences. "This list is for journalistic purposes only. The sources on this list are not available to answer medical questions or provide any other personal information."

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