Your Questions About An Impaired Use Of Language

November 28, 2012

Mary asks…

What do you think about Politically Correct (PC) language? How much is too much?

Obviously, we don’t to use blatantly offense terms such as the “n -word.” But, are we getting to a point where we use so much PC language that it’s difficult to ascertain what we are even talking about?

This question was somewhat sparked by the “r-word” debate. I can understand the offensive part, of course, but it seems to me that it’s more other people’s misuse of something that was initially a benign medical term. It is kind of like the use of the word “gay” and how people keep using it to mean something bad when that was not the original intent.

The PC jumble gets so confusing. Terms like “cognitively impaired” could mean any number of conditions. The technical definition for “retarded” is delayed/slowed and isn’t one of the PC terms “cognitively delayed.”? How is that any different in meaning from “mentally retarded”?

I realize I myself am often not the most socially aware person in the world, but all this just seems a little unnecessary to me and I wonder what terms are going to be changed next. How are we going to keep up with all this?

Your thoughts please….no fights though. :)

admin answers:

What may be benign to you hurts others to the core of their being. That should be enough to not use it. Forget about what is PC or not – think about what hurts. The R-word hurts the people it is used to describe. No one wants to be called that. It has become hate speech no matter what its original intention was.

Daniel asks…

discrimination or not ?

My friend and I were at our local k mart when we were approached by the security guard and told to stop trying to shoplift ( which we weren’t doing ) and he walked away we found the store manager and told him what had happened we did not appreciate what we were accused of the manager then talked to the guard and came back to us the guard told him that we were using signals with each other to steal I told the manager no we weren’t we were using sign language which we often use with all of our friends ( we had to learn it for a play in high school. ) to communicate the manager did nothing to correct the situation. Now is this discrimination on the hearing impaired (even thou we are not.) I just don’t want this happening again especially to the real hearing impaired or should I just leave it alone and do nothing what should I do?

admin answers:

Absolutely – it happens all the time. I’ve been denied service, given poor service or just plain ignored when using sign language. I know people who have had service people try to rip them off – ring up items twice, charge them for items they didn’t eat in a restaurant, and worse – because someone saw them using sign and assumed they were an idiot who didn’t know better. Many Deaf people have stories of being out with a hearing friend, talking in sign, and having the hearing friend report that the employees of a place were saying awful things about them because they were using sign. Some of this has gotten better in recent years, but there is still far too much discrimination.

FYI: This is called audism, which means discrimination against a person or group due to their status as Deaf or hard of hearing.

Charles asks…

IEP test accommodations on standardized tests?

We are giving all of our students Aimsweb tests. This is a standardized test. I have special ed students in my class and have been told that I cannot allow them to use any accommodations because the test is standardized. I have asked and was told that my visually impaired (legally blind)student who cannot read anything without a very large font and a magnification overlay must take the test in point 12 font as it is provided. Also I was told that a student who uses sign language must read the test out loud even though he is deaf, uses sign and has no speech. Is this a violation of IDEA law or is their stand legal by stating it is a standardized test and allowing accommodations will skew with the results. It seems unfair to insist that students who need accommodations be denied these in testing situations. particularly when the accommodations are part of the IEP

It does not make sense to me either nor does it seem fair

In the state that I teach we are required by the “higherups” who sit in power, (Department of ED) to give these tests. They are used to determine if the schools and/ or district are making adiquate yearly progress.
It does not make sense to me either nor does it seem fair

In the state that I teach we are required by the “higherups” who sit in power, (Department of ED) to give these tests. They are used to determine if the schools and/ or district are making adiquate yearly progress.

admin answers:

It is absolutely a violation..

Their 504 plans or IEP should stipulate what accommodations are given for the test

the only thing you can’t do is alter the CONTENT of the test..
It can be given orally, in braille, on a special magnifyer..a person can use sign language..

They can take the test in a separate room, have extra time, ahve someone write the answers they give

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