Language as Advocacy
[the following is an excerpt from the editorial that appears in print in the January 2018 issue of JNPT]
In most physical therapy programs in the United States, students have some opportunity to develop their scientific writing skills. For many, this experience comes as part of a research project that must be reported in the format of a scientific paper. At the very least, all student physical therapists are exposed to scientific writing in classwork, wherein they read original research that informs clinical practice. Looking back over the 3 decades since I was a student physical therapist, it is gratifying to note the change in the way we use language to describe members of the disability community. While it was once common talk about the man in the wheelchair "stricken with" Parkinson disease, to write about "stroke victims," to pass a "handicapped" bathroom, or to drive by a hospital for "crippled children," our language has evolved along with our thinking. Respect for all persons is reflected in our emphasis on language, wherein we describe persons "living with health condition," wheelchair users, and accessible bathrooms.
Read the full editorial in this issue.
Editor-in-Chief Edelle Field-Fote