Episcopal Church Writing Style Guide


  • Only refer to a person’s disability if it is relevant to the context. Be aware that some people prefer “identity-first” terminology, while others prefer “person-first” language. Identity-first: a blind man, an autistic woman. Person-first: Martha, who is blind, credits her guide dog with saving her from harm.
  • Avoid “differently abled.”
  • When needing to specify those without disabilities, preferred terminology includes “nondisabled” or “people without disabilities,” rather than “able-bodied.”
  • deaf / Deaf: Lowercase to refer to the audiological status of people with total or significant hearing loss: deaf, hard of hearing. Uppercase when referring to the culture and community of deaf people: Deaf education, the cultural Deaf community. 
  • See also Disability Language Style Guide (National Center on Disability and Journalism)