Kray-Z Legz rapper
Leonard Cheshire collaborated with South Londoner disabled rapper Kray-Z Legz over a new rap and video.

Disability charity Leonard Cheshire is calling on society to play a more active role in the ongoing conversations around the correct language to use when talking to people with disabilities and the modernising of outdated terms after its research found that ignorance is rife.

The charity found that nearly three quarters of 14.1 million disabled people say that more needs to be done for non-disabled people to understand that their words cause offence. More than 2,400 disabled and non-disabled adults were involved in a survey.

Shocking statistics revealed that 46 per cent of all disabled Brits feel regularly “ignored” or “over-looked” by non-disabled people due to widespread use of inappropriate or demeaning language.

More than one in 10 disabled people reported having to correct the misuse of language around disabilities a staggering four to six days each week.

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Leonard Cheshire collaborated with South Londoner disabled rapper Kray-Z Legz, to launch a new rap and video titled ‘The Language of Disability’. The musician, who previously worked with Snoop Dogg, wanted to create the rap to raise further awareness around the barrier of language.

Kray-Z Legz, who was born with spina bifida, has drawn on some of his own experiences as a disabled person living in the UK in the rap, which calls on listeners to actively educate themselves on disability and engage with disabled people.

By highlighting some of the issues around the language used towards disabled people, Leonard Cheshire and Kray-Z Legz hope to prompt conversations about language, as well as the importance of outdated terms being removed from everyday vocabulary.

Fears about saying the wrong thing has created unnecessary barriers between disabled and non-disabled people, the charity found. Two in five non-disabled people surveyed stated they would be more likely to interact with disabled people if they knew the correct words to use.

Leonard Cheshire says the findings underline the need for more education and greater awareness about the role language plays in creating a more inclusive society. The charity works with companies, a wide range of organisations and schools to promote inclusive environments.

The research and rap form part of Leonard Cheshire’s ongoing ‘Possibility with Disability’ campaign, which aims to dismiss misconceptions about disabled people, encouraging the UK to think differently about disabilities and support the full inclusion of disabled people in society.

The campaign recognises that it is not an individual’s disability which holds them back, but often the passive and active behaviours or attitudes of others.

Ruth Owen OBE, CEO of Leonard Cheshire, said: “Words matter. While these statistics are disappointing, they are a true reflection of what disabled people face on a daily basis.

“Sadly, sometimes language is explicitly used to cause offence. However, in many cases inappropriate words are used unintentionally by non-disabled people for sheer lack of knowledge.

“By teaming up with Kray-Z Legz we are on a mission to raise awareness of this important issue, get people talking and thinking. Everyone benefits from a more inclusive society where disabled people can thrive and their potential realised. No one should feel uncomfortable or excluded in a school or workplace because of the language used by others.”

Kray-Z Legz, commented: “Language is such a powerful thing and it can be very degrading. I have personally been bullied, stared at and spoken to like a child, I can’t count the times somebody has used offensive words to describe me, even though they are being genuinely curious and friendly.

“I wanted to be involved in the Possibility with Disability campaign as it is so important, and I personally feel the topic is long overdue discussion. The simple answer is to get people talking, thinking and educated on the correct language to use and I hope the Language of Disability rap helps encourage that.”

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