On June 24, 2022, I gave a free hour-long webinar entitled “Using Inclusive Language in Medical Interpretation,” in conjunction with MDtranslation.com. This was the third installation of the monthly series sponsored by the Bureau of Rural Health & Primary Care, Division of Public Health, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Funding for this webinar was made possible by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Idaho Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities. The webinar was designed to be a basic introduction to inclusive language and what this means for interpreters, however medical and mental health care providers, as well as language access coordinators were welcome to attend.
This page is designed to be an accompaniment to the webinar, but inclusive language resources will continue to be added!
- Conscious Style Guide
A great collection of resources across nearly every imaginable category of inclusive language: (dis)ability, age, appearance, empowerment, ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, sex, sexuality, health, plain language, socioeconomic status, spirituality, religion, atheism, and more!
- Guidelines for Inclusive Language – Linguistic Society of America
- How Does Our Language Shape the Way We Think? – Edge, by Lera Boroditsky
I encourage attendees to adopt inclusive language, even when they’re not interpreting it, because our thinking shapes our language, and our language shapes our thinking. This article talks about the connection between the words we use and the way we think about things.
- Let’s be Real: Inclusive Language Matters – Medium, by Neha Jain
This is a Spanish-language website dedicated to inclusive language! They occasionally have free webinars, but also have a BUNCH of super useful resources. I absolutely love them. They’re so informative!!!
Resources by Subject
Please note that these resources are listed in alphabetical order, not order of preference or importance.
Gender & Sexual Diversity
- ⭐ Behavioral Health Learning Resources ⭐ – National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center
I mention to attendees that if they check out ONE page of the additional resources I provide, this should be it. One of many reasons why inclusive language is important is because the stigma that trans and nonbinary folks face has a disastrous and tragic effect on their mental health. An additional resource about this topic is the LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity Center of Excellence.
- Being Mindful of Gender as an Interpreter of a Gendered Language – KGH Interpretation
- Gender-Inclusive Language – The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill
- KGH Interpretation’s LGBTQ Resource Page
- LGBTQ-Affirming Interpretation Services (NCIHC AMM Summary) – KGH Interpretation
- Orientaciones para el empleo de un lenguaje inclusivo en cuanto al género en español – Naciones Unidas
While the exclusion of gender-neutral language is missing in some sections (in favor of a binary inclusive-but-not-neutral approach), their section on No visibilizar el género cuando no lo exija la situación comunicativa includes some great examples of using collective nouns to achieve some level of gender neutrality.
Identity-First Language vs. Person-First
- [ES] Autistas de Twitter – A list on Twitter that I created of Spanish-language autistas.
- Person-First Language vs. Identity-First Language: An examination of the gains and drawbacks of Disability Language in society – Journal of Teaching Disability Studies, Phillip Ferrigon
- Why Person-First Language Doesn’t Always Put the Person First – Think Inclusive, by Emily Ladau
An article written by a disabled person about how “disability” isn’t a dirty word and her criticisms of person-first language.
- 12 writing tools to make COVID-19 coverage comprehensible – Poynter, by Roy Peter Clark
While this article’s intended audience is writers, this is actually a really great set of tips on how to use plain language. This would be very useful for a medical interpreter when switching to the clarifier role in terms of how to make things more clear, and potentially giving providers direction on doing so, if necessary.
More to come soon! Subscribe to my newsletter to stay up-to-date on this page, as well as many other useful resources for interpreters.