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Why shouldn't I say 'lame'?

Aaron Hay
Madi Lawson with the Smith family at her December graduation from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Words Matter.

There are so many ways that language shapes our perception of others. In this episode, Madi and Becky sit down with Becky’s Dad, Dean Smith. He was a teacher and principal at a school for people ages 5 to 21 with severe cognitive and/or physical disabilities for many years.

They spoke about ableist language and the way that influences, both consciously and subconsciously, people’s view of those with disabilities and what they are capable of doing.

For those not familiar, ableist language is when a term that is associated with people with disabilities – things like the R-word, “lame,” or “crazy” – take on a negative and belittling meaning.



Hosts: Madison Lawson, Rebecca Smith

Producer: Lauren Brown, Mac Whaley

Supervising Producers: Aaron Hay, Rebecca Smith

Managing Editor: Ryan Famuliner

Online and Social: Nathan Lawrence