Agency Glossary


Ableism /ˈābəˌlizəm/ (Noun)

Discrimination or bigotry against people considered disabled by mainstream society

Activism /ˈaktəˌvizəm/ (Noun)

Efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change, or stasis with the desire to make improvements in society and to change society

Agency /ˈājənsē/ (Noun)

The awareness that one has power over one’s own actions in the world, independent of the external world

Ally /ˈalī/ (Noun)

A person who is not part of a particular group, but is supportive of the group; one who acts to help and aid

Binaries /ˈbīnərēs/ (Noun)

The classification of people and/or identities into two distinct, opposite, and disconnected forms

Biocertification /ˈbīō sˌər-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən/ (Noun)

Asserting/reasserting the legitimacy of a disability; being required to provide a narrative of disability to convince or prove an illness; refers to health care workers, government or social service workers, friends and family

Bodily Diverse /ˈbädəlē dīˈvərs/ (Adjective)

The understanding that there are variant forms of acceptable bodies - and social conventions should allow for more than one normative shape, appearance, or configuration internally or externally; includes cognitive and emotional processes.

Design Equity /dəˈzīn eˈkwədē/ (Compound Noun)

The principle that all technology, products, and services should be designed for use by people with diverse abilities, bodies, and all minds, as opposed to designing only for "normal" bodies and minds; see universal design

Disabled /ˌdisˈāb(ə)ld/ (Adjective)

The inability to function or be like others; physical, emotional, or neurological differences that limit activity or performance, generally with respect to work or education

Identity /ˌīˈden(t)ədē/ (Noun)

The idiosyncratic way a person aligns with a particular group or presents as an individual to society

Inspiration Porn /ˌinspəˈrāSH(ə)n pôrn/ (Noun Phrase)

Used in the disability community as a pejorative term; someone with a disability is a token success for others; being admired solely for having adisability

Intersectionality, intersectional /ˌintərsekSHəˈnalədē/ /ˌintərsekSHəˈnal/ (Noun)

Accounts for multiple grounds of identity when considering how the social world is constructed; the interaction and overlapping of multiple forms of identity, such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, age, religion, and disability.

Other /ˈəT͟Hər/ (Noun)

An individual or group who lacks the essential characteristics of a particular dominant social group or social norm; one who is perceived by the dominant group as different, or as not belonging in some fundamental way. The other may be someone who is of a different race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, dis/ability, or age.

Otherize /ˈəT͟Hər-ize/ (Verb)

To make or regard a person or social group as alien or different; see other

Pass /pas/ (Verb)

To be identified, recognized, or accepted as something one is not

Invisible Disability /inˈvizəb(ə)l ˌdisəˈbilədē/ (Compound Noun)

A disability that cannot be easily seen or measured; often discounted or not respected

Mental Illness /ˈmen(t)l ˈilnəs/ (Compound Noun)

The common definition for someone who has a neurodiversity; a disability that is neurologically-based, chemically dependent; an illness that affects mood, feeling, the ability to function; pejorative, not the neurological analogue to physical illness

Normative /ˈnôrmədiv/ (Adjective)

Relating to an ideal standard or model, or being based on what is considered to be the normal or correct way of doing something; conforming to the social standard

Reclaimed or Reappropriated Identity /rəˈklāmd ˌīˈden(t)ədē/ /re-əˈprōprēˌātd ˌīˈden(t)ədē/ (Noun Phrase)

A marginalized group takes a negative term or association that has been previously used negatively and uses it positively as a marker of self-identification; typically used in the gay, African-American, feminist, and disability communities; see crip

Shame /SHām/ (Noun)

The feeling of guilt or fear of being exposed as wrong, disgraced, or unacceptable

Stigma /ˈstiɡmə/ (Noun)

A negative mark or distinction applied to someone who others deem as different or unacceptable

Universal Design (Compound Noun)

An approach to design that is meant to produce buildings, products, and environments that are accessible to virtually everyone, without the need for adaptation or specialized design, regardless of ability or age