Inclusive Language Glossary

The language associated with minoritized communities is always changing, and this glossary is a guide for non-offensive terms that the general public may use. Any terms not included in this list may be viewed as offensive or harmful to certain individuals in a community.


Genderqueer: An umbrella term for someone who doesn’t identify with conventional gender distinctions. They could identify as neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.

Agender: Referring to someone who does not identify with any gender.

Transgender: An adjective, a description for someone who has transitioned, or is transitioning, or identifies as the gender opposite of the sex they were assigned at birth.

Non-Binary: Referring to someone who does not identify on the binary of male or female.

Gender Non-Conforming: Referring to someone who does not conform to one set of expected gender norms.

Genderfluid: Referring to someone who does not identify with having a fixed gender.

Cisgender: Referring to someone whose gender aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Drag Performer: Someone who dresses up in extravagant clothing that does not typically align with their gender, for the purposes of entertainment.

People of Color (POC): Referring to anyone who does not identify as Caucasian.

AHANA: An acronym used to describe individuals of African, Hispanic, Asian and Native American descent.

AAPI: An acronym referring to anyone of Asian, Asian American, Pacific Island, or Desi descent.

Undocumented Individuals: Referring to individuals who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who do not have visas to reside in the U.S., or who have not applied for official residency.

Disability: Refers to a functional limitation with regard to a particular activity.

Impairment: Refers to a problem with the structure or organ of the body.

Functional needs: Used in place of the phrase “special needs,” avoids infantilizing those with disabilities.

Wheelchair user: Used in place of the phrase “wheelchair-bound,” used to refer to people who use wheelchairs for independent mobility.

Non-disabled: Used to refer to people who do not live with any disabilities.

Able-bodied: Used to refer to people who do not live with any physical disabilities.

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