The purpose of this post is not to cause debate but rather to inform and perhaps encourage some discussion. On another thread I took offense to a brother over a matter and I think the real reason was his lack of understanding the proper terminology to use when referring to people with disabilities. (Remember that term- PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.) There are three terms commonly used to refer to people with disabilities: Impairment- this refers to anatomical or structural abnormalities that typically call for medical assessment and treatment. Disabilities- are tasks, skills or behaviors that are affected by impairment. Handicap- refers to a disadvantage stemming from the interaction between an individual's impairment and the environment. Note that the impairment is not the handicap, the environment is. The proper way to refer to a person with an impairment is this- "Person with (impairment or disability)". Remember that we are people first. The veteran in your church who uses a wheelchair? He's not a "cripple". He is a person with a mobility disability. The dear little child who has Down's Syndrome- she's not a "retard", she is a person with a developmental disability. And it's not just semantics, it has to do with the value we place upon people that are different from ourselves. (Kind of like calling a not-yet-born baby a "fetus" somehow makes it seem less like a person that we are killing, if you catch my drift.) The second thing to remember is that WE do not have handicaps- rather we are handicapped by the environment around us. For example- I am not handicapped by my inability to hear. I am handicapped by other people's inability to communicate in my language, which is American Sign Language, or refusal to write in English, which is also my language. So (and I use myself as an example because I'm here on the BB :smilewinkgrin just because I am different from you in that I cannot hear, I am no less valuable or usable to God than you are. I am not handicapped in my ability to hear God speak. Perhaps I cannot "hear" music. but I sure can "see" it signed in ASL just as beautifully. Hopefully this has been an educational (and encouraging) experience for you. I do not take offense easily, but it does bother me when "hearing" people try to tell me all the things that I "can't" do because I am deaf. My wife is deaf also- we both (thankfully) have jobs. I am a pastor to the deaf. I have a Bachelor's degree and am in process of working on a Master's through a State University. We have raised two hearing sons (who can speak just fine, thank you!) We have two hearing grandchildren and our oldest son and his wife are in the process of adopting a deaf girl from Peru. Our sons are gifted ASL interpreters and highly thought of in their community. Well, I have to run now for work, but I hope that this will help us all be more aware of how the words that we choose to describe others can either help or hurt. God bless.