Author Topic: Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?  (Read 6808 times)

Miss Mae

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Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?
« on: January 02, 2011, 03:32:10 PM »
During the first quarter of last year, the former president signed an amendment to the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. The law has also distinguished 'disabled persons' from 'persons with disabilities,' favoring the latter. Is there really a grammatical argument on that?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 03:34:32 PM by Miss Mae »

Joe Carillo

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Re: Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 07:22:29 AM »
From a layman’s standpoint, I understand the term “disabled persons” as referring to those who are severely incapacitated by illness or injury such that they can’t perform gainful work or have the mobility to live without dedicated assistance by another person. On the other hand, “persons with disabilities” are those who are generally healthy and able like normal individuals but are just constrained by a specific impairment of the senses or of the body, like poor eyesight, poor hearing, poor speaking skills, or paralysis of a particular limb or limbs; any of these disabilities may prevent them from getting employed or moving about unassisted but otherwise, they can engage in most of the day-to-day activities that a normal individual can do. In this layman’s sense, “persons with disabilities” may be considered better off than “disabled persons.” Our legislators might have defined “disabled persons” and “persons and disabilities” in a different way, though, so perhaps a Forum member who is a lawyer can provide us with a precise legal distinction between these two terms.

Miss Mae

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Re: Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011, 05:48:18 PM »
Thank you for your reply. Could you please also explain how the difference came to be?

Joe Carillo

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Re: Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 07:02:26 PM »
From a grammatical standpoint, we can explain the semantic difference between the terms “disabled persons” and “persons with disabilities” this way: In the term “disabled persons,” the adjective “disabled” modifies the noun “persons,” thus conveying the idea that in each case, the disability applies to the “person” as whole and not just to a particular sense or part of the body; the incapacitation is such that the person can’t fend off for himself or herself. In the term “persons with disability,” on the other hand, the modifier “with disability” indicates only the possession of a particular disability by the person referred to; the disability is limited to a particular sense or part of the body and does not mean total or serious incapacitation.

Miss Mae

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Re: Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 03:37:39 PM »
Thank you.

Guess the lawmakers were just right to legislate that distinction. I rest my case.

javedjee81

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Re: Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2011, 12:01:29 AM »
Such a great article! Thank you so much for the knowledge of this exciting niche.

glenn

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Re: Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 11:20:14 AM »
To Forum members:

"Disabled person" and "person with disability" simply denote the same signification. To say otherwise would only mean not totally understanding those two (2) phrases.

A disabled person is one with disability. And a person with disability is a disabled person. Both phrases are, at whatever angle you look at them, focusing on the disability suffered by a person. The only reason "person with disability" is preferred to "disabled person" is aesthetics. Person with disability indeed is more pleasing to hear than the other one.

The only difference between the two (2) phrases, from grammatical standpoint, is the modifier used: the former has a participial modifier; the latter, phrase modifier. But whichever of the two(2) modifiers connotes only one (1) thing--disability.

To detail my idea, let me exemplify by giving two sentences, to wit:

     a. Joe is a disabled person.
     b. Joe is a person with disability.

What could be the possible distinction between the two (2)? To say it's the degree of disability suffered by a person absolutely disables me to accept that answer unwitting enough to dismay a learned mind.





 
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 10:11:25 PM by glenn »

Menie

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Re: Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 08:13:09 PM »
This is off-topic in a way, but I would just like to point out two errors in the following sentence:

"In the term “disabled persons,” the adjective “disabled” modifies the noun “persons,” thus conveying the idea that in each case, the disability applies to the “person” as whole and not just to a particular sense or part of the body; the incapacitation is such that the person can’t fend off for himself or herself."

1.  The article "a" is missing before the word "whole" in the phrase "applies to the “person” as whole ".  The correct phrase is "applies to the “person” as a whole".

2.  The word "off" should not be in the phrase "the person can’t fend off for himself or herself".  To "fend off" means to prevent from happening.  Also, it is a transitive verb (or should I say verb clause?) and requires an object. The correct phrase is "the person can’t fend for himself or herself".   

Which brings an interesting question to mind.  I googled the word "off" and I understand that it can be a preposition, as well as an adjective, or even a verb.  In the phrase "fend off", is "off" a preposition?  I think it is.  Please confirm or correct.  Thanks!

Joe Carillo

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Re: Are 'persons with disabilities' better than 'disabled persons'?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 09:02:04 PM »
You’re right on both counts about that sentence. The article “a” is indeed missing in the clause “the disability applies to the ‘person’ as whole,” which should be corrected to read ““the disability applies to the ‘person’ as a whole.” This is a proofreading error that I wasn’t able to catch.

Then, as you correctly pointed out, in the clause “the person can’t fend off for himself or herself,” the correct phrasal verb is “fend” without the preposition “off,” so that clause should read as follows: “the person can’t fend for himself or herself.”

The phrasal verb “fend for yourself” means “take care of yourself,” which is the correct sense for the sentence in question. On the other hand, the phrasal verb “fend off someone” means to “stop someone from coming too near you” or to “stop someone from hurting you”—senses that are not intended for that sentence.

I have incorrectly used the wrong phrasal verb here. I would like to apologize for it and I would like to thank you for making the correction.

As to the “off” in “fend off,” it is indeed functioning as a preposition that indicates “physical separation or distance from a position of contact or attachment.” Of course, as you pointed out, “off” can also function as an adverb, an adjective, and even as a verb.