Your View: Misuse of the word 'handicap'

4 years 7 months 3 days ago Friday, November 21 2014 Nov 21, 2014 Friday, November 21, 2014 5:50:00 PM CST November 21, 2014 in News
By: Genevieve Reaume and Madison Conklin, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

COLUMBIA - This summer KOMU 8 News reported on the city's decision to allow citizens to report the misuse of accessible parking in Columbia.

But KOMU 8 News used the word 'handicap' to describe these parking spots.

Tara Shade, a viewer who works at Alternative Community Training, commented on our Facebook post about it for a Today's Talk segment, saying, "You need to stop using the term 'handicap'. It is negative. You should use the term accessible instead. In fact all signs should say that too. Look up the changes in law dated August 28, 2011. Your team should receive some training on the use of person first language. Please explore this important issue."

The law Shade is referring to is the Missouri House Bill 560, and it states that all parking signs must no longer use the word 'handicap,' instead using 'accessible.'

KOMU 8 News spoke with Shade to discuss the use of the word, and she said she understands why it was used in our newscast, "I think most people in the media who don't use person-first language don't do that knowingly or willingly," Shade said.

Annie Hammock, the KOMU 8 interactive director, said we might have overlooked the current perception of this word during our reporting.

"You know a lot of people grew up using the word handicapped," Hammock said. "And it's only been in recent years that there's been this move to erase that word from the lexicon and to prefer the word disabled."

KOMU 8 News understands that as journalists it is our responsibility to be up to date.

Shade explained that language is always changing and adapting in society, and this could be why some changes take awhile to adapt to in a community.

"I think politically correct terms and language, it grows over time," Shade said.

KOMU 8 news sends out our apologies for this mistake. We made sure our employees understand this issue, "We need to be sensitive to how people label themselves," Hammock said. "It's very important to them. We need to respect that. So an email went out. I went back in and changed, edited, the stories."

Shade understands that most of the time the usage of this word is just a mistake, but asks people to be more careful and conscious, "We all have strengths," Shade said. "We all have weaknesses. Nobody likes to talk about their weaknesses, or focus on their weaknesses. So I think the more we can remember that all people are just that, people, then that is person-first language."

KOMU 8 News is working our hardest to make sure it doesn't happen again.

If you think there is something we should address, reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter or email us at news@KOMU.com.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Boone County firefighters went above and beyond the call of duty Monday to assist a man in need.... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 11:18:00 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
WOOLDRIDGE - With water levels expected to crest on Wednesday, Wooldridge is in preparation for more flooding. The town... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 9:31:00 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man has been sentenced for exposing his genitals to in two separate incidents at a McDonald's... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 8:15:00 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
KEYTESVILLE - James Pleasant, who prosecutors say left his fiance to die in flood waters, appeared in court Tuesday. ... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 7:54:00 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol arrested a Columbia man after he admitted to viewing child pornography for nearly... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 7:12:07 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's only abortion clinic is asking a state administrative panel to intervene before its license to... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 5:16:00 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) — An Illinois man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after accepting a plea deal... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 4:07:40 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A man whose roommate was shot by an intruder says the house was just "full of blood."... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 2:46:00 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is teaming up with other states and agencies as part of a new initiative to rein... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 1:47:00 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Two people were injured from a shooting in Columbia near Stephens Lake Park Tuesday morning. Around 11... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 12:00:00 PM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Supreme Court has set the execution date for a man found guilty of first-degree murder... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 11:23:00 AM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters finished cleaning out the gutters of a elderly man's house after receiving a call that the man... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 10:08:28 AM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Firefighters battled flames rising out of a commercial dumpster in Columbia early Tuesday morning. A dumpster on... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 9:23:00 AM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A store clerk who livestreamed the aftermath of a confrontation in which a Missouri police officer... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 8:25:00 AM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former state legislative aide has been sentenced to five years in prison for soliciting... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 8:05:00 AM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are investigating after one man was hurt in a shooting late Monday night. Officers... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 3:34:00 AM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
Jefferson City - The National Weather Service is projecting the Missouri River at Jefferson City to crest by mid-week. ... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, June 25 2019 Jun 25, 2019 Tuesday, June 25, 2019 2:26:00 AM CDT June 25, 2019 in News
OSAGE COUNTY – The Mari Osa Delta campground, along the Osage River and Missouri River Delta, has lost about 15... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 24 2019 Jun 24, 2019 Monday, June 24, 2019 7:10:00 PM CDT June 24, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
1am 72°
2am 71°
3am 70°
4am 70°