Inclusive language is a form of communication that avoids using words, expressions, or assumptions that stereotype, demean or exclude people.
For example, gendered language is commonly understood as a language that is biased towards a particular sex or social gender. In English, this would include using gender-specific terms referring to professions or people, such as businessman or fireman.
Language is powerful and can have varying effects; we acknowledge not everyone understands the words or phrases that are considered hurtful or offensive and that changing personal habits requires patience and empathy.
- Avoid acronyms
- When speaking about groups of people in general, use inclusive terms such as multi- cultural
- When speaking about individual groups, use specific terms that the group identifies with
Avoid language that:
- Reinforce stereotypes
- Reinforce derogatory labels
- Exclude certain groups of people through assumptions, e.g. assuming white population is the norm
- Emphasise certain ethnic minority groups (Asian and black) and exclude others (mixed, other and white ethnic minority groups) or groups people together, for example, the term BAME
- Patronise or trivialise certain groups of people
- Cause discomfort or offence