Inclusive Communication at the Paralympic Games

Inclusive communication is about how to produce publications that include, accurately portray, and are accessible to disabled people.

This guidance aims to help you to:

  • communicate using inclusive language and know which words to use and avoid when writing about disability
  • include disabled people in your communications and campaigns and make sure that they’re portrayed positively and realistically
  • make sure your communications are accessible
  • choose and use appropriate communication channels to reach disabled people
  • There are over 11 million people with a long term illness, impairment or disability in Great Britain. Communicators must be confident their messages will reach everyone, including disabled people. This can be done by ensuring all communications are inclusive and accessible.

The Office for Disability Issues wrote this guidance for government communicators but it may also be useful to others. This is predominantly used in employment, but has also been used in disability sport like the Paralympic Games.

For example, when I represented Bermuda at the London 2012 Paralympic Games as a reporter, we were expected to use inclusive communication. We we’re expected to indicate the difference between a Paralympian and a Para-athlete.

As per the official IPC website and catalogue on terminologies for para sportspersons, the Preferred term is Para Athlete. If however a person does compete in the Paralympics, then they become a Paralympian. If a person competes in the Paralympics once, then they will always be called a Paralympian.

We weren’t allowed to use the term ‘disabled’, especially when writing articles and headlines. We say ‘person with disabilities’ instead of ‘disabled person’.

This is in place to target labelling and stereotyping. It also gets rid of the stigma centred around disability.


Leave a Reply

About Daniella-Jade Lowe

Hello everyone! Welcome to my page. My name is Daniella Jade Lowe. I am a university graduate with a BA degree focused on History and Politics from the University of Bradford, England. Journalism and Politics are my passion. I have even represented Bermuda at the London 2012 Paralympic Games as a reporter for Bermuda’s Paralympian Jessica Lewis. During the games I also assessed the level of Wheelchair Accessibility at the event. I am an emerging Journalist, Politician and Disability Advocate. My motive behind doing this was to be an advocate for people with disabilities. I have a disability. It does not completely define me; it just enhances me in a way which differentiates and strengthens me. My disability should be viewed as an ability: to see the world in a different way. As a wheelchair user, I have advocated for Wheelchair Accessibility in Bermuda, by writing various articles for numerous publications on the subject. I also have a blog where I also write about various disability related issues. During Middle School and High School, I used a Garaventa StairTrac to navigate the school for classes. In fact, one of the reasons why I pursued further education and started my career in England was due to Wheelchair Accessibility. During College, I became the Disability Officer for the Students’ Union and I advocated for the students with disabilities. On July 27, 2007, I was invited by former Premier of Bermuda Dr. Ewart Brown for a ‘Brown Bag Lunch’ to discuss issues like Wheelchair Accessibility amongst other things. I have also been sporadically involved with WindReach since I was young. This is how I amplify my voice for Wheelchair Accessibility! I am also skilled in Politics, Microsoft Excel, Customer Service, Microsoft Word, and Strategic Planning. Strong media and communication professional with a BA focused in History and Politics from University of Bradford.