Ability + Physicality
Witty alerts you to expressions that marginalize people based on dis/ability, physical difference, or illness. With Witty's suggestions you contribute to building a space where everyone feels they belong, no matter their size, shape, skin, or hair; their illnesses others can't see; or the barriers to their participation they navigate.
Most of us are taught to believe that having a disability, an illness, or physical attributes different from aesthetic fashions, suggests otherness. In fact, 15% of the world’s population experiences some form of disability (World Bank), and almost three in five US Americans feel beauty brands have a responsibility to destigmatize flaws. Flagging language that misrepresents natural human diversity, Witty offers inclusive and respectful alternatives. It detects ableist slurs, disability-related hate speech, and biases in eleven dimensions, from vision, hearing, and speech to learning, cognitive perception, mental well-being to illnesses and physical difference.
Slurs + hate speech
Refrain from ableist slurs, even in jest. Failing to do so, can be considered grounds for legal or disciplinary action.
Ableist slurs or disability-related hate speech are calculated to wound, upset, anger, intimidate, or embarrass. They are hate incidents and constitute verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse. Indulging in this form of behavior not only shapes how people see you, but adversely affects everyone around you. Not least because slurs and hate speech create a social climate, in which bullying and harrassment are more likely to occur.
Communicates exclusion by stating that a person's abilities are outside of an assumed definition of "normal".
Sometimes a behavior of a person is considered as "other" according to a stereotypical view by the society, meaning the society's behavior is "normal" and this person's not. But this thinking is outdated. «The research of "Neurodiversity" describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one "right" way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits», as described in this article of Harvard Health.
😒 Medical state
Outdated, hidden or even discriminatory wording pigeonholing people with a medical condition.
Outdated, hidden or even discriminatory wording pigeonholing people with a mobility impairment.
😒 Cognitive ability
Cognitive ability can be reduced due to several reasons:
- genetic defect (like Down Syndrome)
- education level
- brain injury
- exposure to pesticides or toxins
- physical inactivity
- chronic conditions such as Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer
- and others
Society has found many terms to describe the different cognitive disabilities. Many of them have a negative connotation and are used randomly. The people affected by such disabilities keep being pigeonholed in those outdated stereotypes.
😒 Cognitive perception
We all experience the world through our senses - seeing, listening, smelling, tasting, and feeling. This is called cognitive perception. Another aspect of cognitive perception is how we deal with the information we receive from senses. Our individual cognitive perception influences how we respond to people, assess risks, and behave in different settings. We use our personal experiences and our ideas of what is "normal" to assess the responses and behaviors of others. But we all experience the world differently. Making judgements about people who do not perceive the world the same way we do, can have serious social ramifications for the person we judge. Labelling someone as "not normal" and questioning their ability to perceive reality "correctly" can make them vulnerable to marginalization, stigmatization, and bullying.
Outdated, hidden or even discriminatory wording pigeonholing people with hearing impairment.
😒 Learning ability
Learning ability and outcomes
We are taught to trust school grades as representative of two things: the effort we put in and our natural capacity to learn. But grades are the results of many more factors. These factors includes negative stereotypes, outdated teaching methods, and learners' socio-economic situation.
😒 Mental wellbeing
Mental health and well-being
Using words related to mental health casually and with negative connotations can be hurtful and distressing to people who are invested in managing their mental wellbeing and people living with an invisible disability. Treating mental health as a joke, metaphor, or euphemism and making assumptions about what it’s like to experience mental health problems enables others to internalize mental health stigma.
😒 Speech ability
Speech and language-related disabilities
Terms describing non-speaking people or people living with speech and language-related disabilities are often closely linked to negative stereotypes and misguided assumptions. People with speech and language-related disabilities are assumed to be struggling because they're "insecure" or "nervous" or interpreted as showing mental limitations or a lack of thinking ability. Related terms are often used figuratively to describe something as "different" or "limited in function."
Outdated, hidden or even discriminatory wording pigeonholing people with visual disabilities.