Publication | Report/Paper

International Language Guidelines on Disability

In February 2017, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) released “International Language Guidelines on Disability,” a document that includes terminology related to electoral access and inclusion in eight languages. IFES compiled standard disability terminology after working with disabled people’s organizations around the world to empower them to participate in inclusive elections. The language provided within the guidelines follows the principles of person-first language, which emphasizes that persons with disabilities have equal rights as others. In some countries, local disability rights advocates might prefer terms different from those referenced in this guide. The terminology that is included in these guidelines can be used as a starting point for beginning discussions on disability rights with civil society and government advocates.

The publication also includes definitions of common election access vocabulary such as accessible formats, reasonable accommodations, and universal design. The new tool is intended to serve as an easy-to-use resource to facilitate discussions on disability inclusion in political processes.

“International Language Guidelines on Disability” is available in Amharic, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, English, French, Kyrgyz, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian.