Related resources

Use these resources to better understand how to incorporate the recommendations from the style guide into your materials. Also see the introduction of the guide for helpful tips.


Practice exercises

Download the practice exercises, available in either a Word Document or PDF, to work through examples.


Training video

This 8-minute training video will help you start using the guide for your work.  

The transcript is below.

Manny Morone: Hi all, and welcome to the ACS Inclusivity Style Guide training video. First off, thanks for tuning in, because communicating in an inclusive way isn't something that just happens. It's something that we work toward together. And the fact that you're watching this means that you're taking a step toward that goal.

So what is the guide, and why should you use it? Style guides are commonly used in journalism and in the publication space. These keep all content creators on the same page in terms of fonts, reference styles, or formatting used for a particular context or audience. Now the Inclusivity Style Guide provides a set of standards too—standards specifically for inclusive communication. Before and during your content creation process, you can read through or review the guidance in relevant sections for communicating in an inclusive way.

Why should you use the guide? While many inclusive style guides exist, we wanted to create one that equipped our staff, our members, and our governance volunteers with clear examples, ample references, and detailed explanations and rationales. The creation and distribution of this guide affirms ACS's commitment to and core value of diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect specifically by creating a space that is truly welcoming to all regardless of background.

By following this guidance, you'll be able to broaden the audience of your materials. And one of the best places to convey an inclusive culture is through a communication with each other and to the broader public. Now let's get into how you access the guide. In the near term, we'll provide ACS staff and ACS governance with the link that they can bookmark and will allow them to access the guide. We've also set up a short URL, www.acs.org/inclusivityguide to make the address easy to remember. Of course the guide will be added to Nucleus and iConnect. In the long term, once we roll out the guide to all ACS members, we'll put a link under the diversity section of acs.org, which you can access through www.acs.org/about.

Racquel Jemison (01:55): Now that you've seen how to access the guide, let's take you onto the web page for a closer look. The ACS Inclusivity Style Guide was designed as an interactive web page, and there are three ways to navigate the guide in its entirety. The first is with the "Get Started" button at the very top. This will take you to the introduction and then through each section from there, in order.

The second option is to just navigate from the home page. You can scroll down to find each of the sections in bold and its subsections in the tiles to the right. If you click on any one of those tiles, it'll take you directly to that section of the guide to find more information.

The third option is to use this left-hand panel, which summarizes each of the sections that you'll be able to find in the guide and clicking on any of them will expand it to show each of those subsections that you can quickly navigate to from there.

Let's take a closer look with our general guidelines and avoid labeling people by a characteristic. You'll first see some background information, which will give you some additional context and explain what this specific guideline means or generally refers to. The recommendation that follows informs you on how you can structure your language or make content decisions. You'll also see that most entries have at least one or two examples of what you can use and what you should avoid. Throughout the guide, you might notice some hyperlinks that will take you out to the original reference material that we used to create the guide. And of course, at the end of each section, you'll be able to find a full list of all of the resources that were used to create the section.

Communicating inclusively is ideally incorporated into your everyday interactions here at ACS. The style guide can come in handy when sending emails (either to one person or a hundred), creating newsletters, posters, applications, and forms, website content, advertisements, even social media posts, and more. To best use the guide, we recommend familiarizing yourself with it at least once by taking a look through the various sections and thinking about how it might impact or change some of your own content or other content that you've seen in the past. In the future, as any of your content mentions one or more of the topics covered in the guide, refer to it as a quick check once you've finished your project, or to help you if you get stuck.

Kierra Tobiere (04:24): To help you practice using the guide, we created examples of texts and images that could be more inclusive. You can find these at acs.org/inclusivityguide. Staff can also find these on Nucleus in the DEIR section. The text examples ask you to read the original and identify the noninclusive elements. The next page explains what was not inclusive. And the third page offers an alternative that is more inclusive. The image examples ask you to choose between two images, and an explanation of the correct choice follows.

Time to practice! Here is a sentence from one of the practice exercises. "Ava volunteered to man the phone line while Bob is out." First, try to use the Inclusivity Style Guide to identify what could be more inclusive in the sentence. Then check your work with the explanation in the practice exercise. Here, we explain that "man" should be changed to a gender-neutral term so that people of all genders feel included. An alternative version that is more inclusive is "Ava volunteered to staff the phone while Bob is out."

Here is an example of two images. Use the Inclusivity Style Guide to identify which one is the better choice. Then compare your answer with the one in the practice exercise. In this example, the image that shows a greater range of skin tones is better, is a better choice because it shows a greater diversity of people, which makes more people in the audience feel recognized and accepted.

Sabrina Ashwell (05:51): Where to go for help. We recommend exploring or reading through the guide to familiarize yourself with the content and referring to specific sections as needed for reminders or to review your content before finalizing. We have some Q&A sessions in December: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. eastern on December 14, and 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. eastern on December 15. Go to the link shown here [bit.ly/ACS_ISG_Session1 or bit.ly/ACS_ISG_Session2] to sign up. We'll have more sessions in 2022.

We understand the benefit in having some additional resources and shortcuts. If you'd like support or have questions, consider first going through the references used throughout the guide for additional context. You can also reach out to your division representative on the Council of DEIR for additional help. And lastly, we have inclusivity guide tip sheets that you can download from the website or obtain physical copies of to serve as quick general reminders. We recommend posting them in your work space.

Lastly, we welcome feedback from you as a user of the inclusivity guide. We plan for the guide to be a living document, and ideas for updates will in part come from users like all of you. You can email the inclusivity guide team at ISG@acs.org or use the black feedback button that appears on the side of any of the guide's web pages. It looks like that button I have on the side of this slide.

All feedback will be taken seriously and considered. We'll update the guide as needed to incorporate new and revised information. Our target is to make updates a few times per year. Thank you for watching this video. Creating an inclusive ACS for our members and colleagues starts with each one of us, and using inclusive language is one step along that journey.


Topics to come

Topics under development
Data visualization

Additional topics under consideration
Cultural appropriation in images
Email and social media
Glossary
How to respond when you make a mistake
Intersectionality
Religion
Sentence structure and content framing


Change history

See how the guide has changed over time.

Last updated: Dec. 22, 2022

September–December 2022

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Related resources
Entry title: Change history
Reason why change made:
Provide a more accessible history of changes

Original text: 
[Changes documented in a Google Sheet]

Updated text:
[Changes listed under "Related resources"]

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Age
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for age
Reason why change made:
Provide more helpful resources

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]
Age Scotland. Making Ageism Old News: Reporting on Older People Guide. Edinburgh: Age Scotland, 2020.

Centre for Ageing Better. Challenging Ageism: A Guide to Talking about Ageing and Older Age. Centre for Ageing Better, 2021.

Changing the Narrative. Guidelines for Age-Inclusive Communication. 2022.

Reframing Aging Initiative. Communication Best Practices: Reframing Aging Initiative Guide to Telling a More Complete Story of Aging. 2022.

Senz, Kristen. “6 Tips for Improving News Coverage of Older People.” The Journalist’s Resource, Nov. 15, 2022.

Sweetland, Julie, Andrew Volmert, and Moira O’Neil. Finding the Frame: An Empirical Approach to Reframing Aging and Ageism. Washington, DC: FrameWorks Institute, 2017.

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Socioeconomic status
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for socioeconomic status
Reason why change made:
Provide more helpful resources

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]
Abrahams, Jessica. “Is It Time to Retire the Term ‘Developing Country’?” Prospect, Dec. 5, 2019.

Whelan, Kerri. “Did You Know: Saying ‘Developing Countries’ Is More Controversial Than You Think.” Insights (blog). Plan International, Feb. 9, 2021.

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for race, ethnicity, and nationality
Reason why change made:
Provide more helpful resources

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Cultural appropriation and misinterpretation in language
Reason why change made:
Clarify that "spirit animal" isn't a term from Indigenous cultures and that "low on the totem pole" is also inaccurately used (in addition to being culturally appropriative).

Original text:
Sometimes culturally appropriated words are terms of religious reverence in other cultures, such as “guru,” or they corrupt or mock important traditions or beliefs when used casually in English, such as “powwow,” “spirit animal,” and phrases like “low on the totem pole.”

Updated text:
Sometimes culturally appropriated words are terms of religious reverence in other cultures, such as “guru,” or they corrupt or mock important traditions or beliefs when used casually in English, such as “powwow,” “spirit animal,” and phrases like “low on the totem pole” (which is also inaccurate when intended to mean "low seniority"). As Erin Magner explains in an April 2022 Well+Good article, "Even though 'spirit animal’ isn't a term widely used in Indigenous cultures—if at all—it takes the concept of their sacred connection with and reverence for nature and twists it into a catchphrase and a commodity. This makes it a damaging form of cultural appropriation."

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Cultural appropriation and misinterpretation in language
Reason why change made:
Clarify that problematic terms go beyond ones borrowed from another language; they include terms that warp the meaning of another culture

Original text:
[Title:]
Cultural appropriation in language

[Under “Background”:]
The English language borrows words from other cultures constantly, and this practice can enrich the language when it respects the original intent and context of the word and when the borrowing culture respects the originating one. This practice becomes cultural appropriation when people in a socially dominant group use borrowed words in a way that doesn’t respect the culture they're taken from.

[Under “Recommendation”:]
When deciding whether to use words borrowed from another language, consider whether the word holds cultural significance in its original language or derives from an important tradition or belief.

Updated text:
[Title:]
Cultural appropriation and misinterpretation in language

[Under “Background:”]
The English language borrows words or concepts from other cultures constantly, and this practice can enrich the language when it respects the original intent and context of the word and when the borrowing culture respects the originating one. This practice becomes cultural appropriation when people in a socially dominant group use borrowed words or concepts in a way that doesn’t respect the culture they're taken from.

[Under “Recommendation”:]
When deciding whether to use words borrowed from another language or associated with another culture, consider whether the word holds cultural significance in its original language or derives from an important tradition or belief.

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for health
Reason why change made:
Provide another helpful resource

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]
Wise, Hannah. Disability Matters: A Toolkit for Newsrooms to Better Serve the Disability Community. Last modified Sept. 22, 2022.

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Avoid using disability-related terms to describe something negative
Reason why change made:
Provide another example of when a disability-related word is problematic

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following example:]
Use: “It’s a problem so complex, so fraught with stigma and treatment complications, that innovation has crept forward slowly even as a crisis escalates: suicide prevention” (Stat, July 27, 2022).
Avoid: limped along slowly

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Avoid using disability-related terms to describe something negative
Reason why change made:
Explain when positive physical ability–based descriptions might be appropriate

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Under “Background,” added the following paragraphs:]
In contrast to the use of disability-related terms for negative things, many metaphors for positive things refer to physical abilities, such as the ability to see (“eye opening”), stand (“stand up for what you believe in”), or hear (“make our voices heard”). These phrases may imply that a lack of these abilities is bad. The combination of such terms may accumulate to enforce a view that nondisabled people are inherently better. Writer and disability rights advocate Amanda Leduc says in a 2021 Toronto Star article, “Nothing is ever just something that people say—the words we use all have power, and ableist language is powerful precisely because it hides its harm beneath a veneer of innocuous mundanity, behind the smokescreen of it’s just a figure of speech.” She also warns against “putting the power of metaphor above the power of harm.”  

On the other hand, organizations advocating for blind people have recommended not avoiding using “see” neutrally. The American Foundation for the Blind’s “Resources for Reporters Writing about Blindness and Vision Loss” says, “It is perfectly fine to use ‘visual’ words and phrases in conversation, e.g. ‘Nice to see you,’ ‘See you later.’” Similarly, the Courtesy Rules of Blindness from the US-based National Federation of the Blind says, “It’s ok to still use words such as see and look. I will talk with you like everyone else, although I may not be able to make direct eye contact.”

[Under “Recommendation,” added the following to the end of the paragraph:]
When considering whether to use positive metaphors based on physical abilities, consider whether the metaphor is the most apt for the situation and whether there is an alternative that does not equate physical ability with success. While it’s not necessary to avoid every physical ability–based metaphor, avoid defaulting to using physical terms for positive things. Instead, consider your content’s purpose, audience, and context. Using words like “see” neutrally, as in “see page 5,” is generally acceptable, but respect the wishes of any disabled people who ask you to use other terms (such as “refer to page 5”).

[Added the following example:]
Use: “It is important that we gain an understanding of how and when to use certain tactics to address our oppressors, but also to address each other” (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance Community Voices Blog, May 31, 2021).
Avoid: open our eyes to how and when

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: People-first language and identity-first language
Reason why change made: Urge caution when people choose organizations as arbiters of language for a group. Define “people-first language” for people reading just the recommendation.

Original text:
If you cannot determine someone’s preference, generally use the language that most people with the condition prefer (e.g., consult official organizations representing people with a condition). If you can’t determine a preference, use people-first language.

Updated text:
If you cannot determine someone’s preference, generally use the language that most people with the condition prefer. For example, consult official organizations that represent and are led by people with a condition. Be aware that some organizations purporting to represent a group of people may speak for only a subset of a group. If you can’t determine a preference, use people-first language by saying "people with [condition]."

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: People-first language and identity-first language
Reason why change made: Note that “people-first” and “person-first” are used interchangeably

Original text:
People-first language puts the person first, with wording like “person with” (e.g., “person with autism”), while identity-first language puts the condition first (e.g., “autistic person”).

Updated text:
People-first language, also called person-first language, puts the person first, with wording like “person with” (e.g., “person with autism”), while identity-first language puts the condition first (e.g., “autistic person”).

Dec. 22, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Capitalization of health conditions
Reason why change made:
Provide guidance on how to talk about deafblindness

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Under “Background,” added the following to the end of the paragraph:]
Similarly, people who identify as part of Deaf-Blind or DeafBlind culture capitalize “D” and “B.” Some people and organizations use a hyphen in the term. Others, including most organizations outside the US, omit the hyphen as a way to signal that deafblindness is more than the sum of vision loss and hearing loss.

[Under “Recommendation,” added the following to the end of the paragraph:]
Similarly, capitalize “Deaf-Blind” or “DeafBlind” when referring to people who identify as part of the culture or community, and use the lowercase versions when referring to the general condition or people who do not identify with the culture. Ask people whether they want to use the hyphen. If it’s not possible to ask, generally omit the hyphen. See also “Ask people how they want to be described, and respect that language.”

Dec. 21, 2022

Section title: Introduction and FAQ
Entry title: How should you use the guide?
Reason why change made: Clarify why we don’t offer a downloadable version

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added paragraph to bottom:]
Because language is constantly evolving, the guide will be updated frequently. For this reason, we do not provide a downloadable option. The top tips for most topics are available as downloadable tip sheets.

Dec. 21, 2022

Section title: Introduction and FAQ
Entry title: [Not applicable]
Reason why change made: Clarify that this section includes answers to frequently asked questions

Original text:
Introduction

Updated text:
Introduction and FAQ

Dec. 21, 2022

Section title: Body size
Entry title: [Not applicable]
Reason why change made: Provide guidance on inclusive language for body size

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added section]

Dec. 20, 2022

Section title: Accessibility
Entry title: Resources on accessibility
Reason why change made: Provide more helpful resources

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]

Accessible Social.

Caron, Mark. “Don’t Use ‘Click Here.’ ” Medium, Aug. 4, 2017.

Evans, Meryl. “Why and How to Create Accessible Social Media and Website Content.” Feb. 2, 2021.

Kaspar, Felix, and Fabio Crameri. “Coloring Chemistry—How Mindful Color Choices Improve Chemical Communication.” Angew Chem., Int. Ed. 61 (2022): e202114910. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.202114910.

Katsnelson, Alla. “Colour Me Better: Fixing Figures for Colour Blindness.” Nature 598 (2021): 224–25. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-02696-z.  

Office of Disability Employment Policy, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, and Social Media Accessibility Working Group. “Federal Social Media Accessibility Toolkit Hackpad.” Last updated Oct. 13, 2022.

Routledge. “Accessible Content in Chemistry.”

Web Accessibility in Mind. “WebAIM’s WCAG 2 Checklist.” Last modified Feb. 26, 2021.

World Wide Web Consortium. “How People with Disabilities Use the Web.” Web Accessibility Initiative. Last modified May 15, 2017.

World Wide Web Consortium. “Tips for Getting Started.” Web Accessibility Initiative. Last modified July 7, 2016.

Dec. 20, 2022

Section title: Accessibility
Entry title: Social media
Reason why change made: Discuss accessible social media posts

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

Dec. 20, 2022

Section title: Accessibility
Entry title: Hyperlinks
Reason why change made: Discuss accessible hyperlinks

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

Dec. 20, 2022

Section title: Accessibility
Entry title: Color to convey meaning
Reason why change made: Focus on color to convey meaning first and then the importance of having high contrast

Original text:

Colors
Background:
People who are color blind can’t distinguish certain colors, and others with low vision may also not be able to see colors well. If an image uses different colors to represent different things (e.g., different periodic elements or lines on a graph), those colors should be distinguishable by color-blind people.

Recommendation:
When it is important to be able to differentiate between colors in an image, ensure the colors can be distinguished by color-blind people. Strategies to check whether colors are appropriate include printing the graphic in gray scale and using online or downloadable tools, like Color Oracle and WebAIM’s contrast checker. Also avoid using color as the only means of conveying information; for example, also use symbols or text to communicate the information.

Updated text:

Color to convey meaning
Background:
For people with color vision deficiency (also called color blindness) and low vision, differentiating between certain colors and shades can be difficult, if not impossible. If information is conveyed by color alone, some people may not be able to access the information. For that reason, one of the success criteria of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is “Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.” Additional ways of conveying information include text, shapes or symbols, and patterns. Conveying information in multiple ways and choosing colors differentiable by people with color vision deficiency are also important ways to ensure print products are accessible.

When color is used to convey information, such as in a heat map or fluorescent image, it is important to choose accessible palettes. For example, palettes that use a perceptually uniform scale instead of a rainbow scale are more accessible.

Recommendation:
Avoid using color as the only means of conveying information. For example, also use symbols or text to communicate the information, such as by directly labeling parts of a graphic.

When differentiating between colors in text or visual elements is important, ensure the colors can be distinguished by people with color vision deficiency. Strategies to check whether colors are appropriate include printing in grayscale and using online or downloadable tools, like Color Oracle, Coblis, or the Colorblindly extension for Chrome.

Example
Use:

Two pie charts on lithium supply and processing showing that while most raw lithium comes from Australia and Chile, Chinese producers dominate lithium processing.
Although most raw lithium comes from Australia and Chile, Chinese producers dominate lithium processing. Source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
C&EN

Labeling the slices with percentages means that people can understand the data even if they can't differentiate between the colors of the pie slices (C&EN, Oct. 29, 2022).

Dec. 20, 2022

Section title: Accessibility
Entry title: Color contrast
Reason why change made: Discuss contrast requirements

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry:]

Dec. 20, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for forms
Reason why change made: Provide an additional helpful resource

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]

Taylor, Jessica, Daniel Ginsberg, and Aly W. Corey. “Higher Ed Data Should Be Trans Inclusive.” Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 7, 2022.

Dec. 20, 2022

Section title: Specific subjects of study or work
Entry title: Information technology and software development
Reason why change made: Provide guidance on this topic

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

Dec. 19, 2022

Section title: Gender and sexuality
Entry title: Queer
Reason why change made: Provide a useful link on the term “queer”

Original text:
“Queer” was once a pejorative term for gay people.

Updated text:
“Queer” was once a pejorative term for gay people.

Dec. 19, 2022

Section title: Gender and sexuality
Entry title: Not implying that gender is a binary construct
Reason why change made: Clarify how to report studies that include only two genders

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Under “Recommendation,” added the following sentence:]
When reporting results of a study that included only two genders, consider noting the study’s limitation.

[Added the following example:]
Use: "One study found that women were 16 times more likely than men to experience weight-based discrimination at work. (Although gender is neither binary nor fixed, the study tracked only these two identities.)" (Nature 2022, DOI: 10.1038/d41586-022-01536-y).

Avoid: women were 16 times more likely than men (By not explaining the limitations of the study, this statement could reinforce the idea that there are only two genders.)

Dec. 19, 2022

Section title: Gender and sexuality
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for gender and sexuality
Reason why change made:
Provide more helpful resources

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]
Briggs, Ray, and B. R. George. “Words for Every Body.” Aeon, March 26, 2019.

GLAAD. “Media Guide: Abortion as an LGBTQ Issue.” July 6, 2022.

Tordoff, Diana M., Brian Minalga, Bennie Beck Gross, Aleks Martin, Billy Caracciolo, Lindley A Barbee, Jennifer E Balkus, Christine M Khosropour. “Erasure and Health Equity Implications of Using Binary Male/Female Categories in Sexual Health Research and Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Sexually Transmitted Infection Surveillance: Recommendations for Transgender-Inclusive Data Collection and Reporting.”  Sex. Transm. Dis. 49, no. 2 (2022): e45-e49. https://doi.org/10.1097/olq.0000000000001533.

Trans Journalists Association. “TJA Best Practices for Trans-Inclusive Language in Abortion Coverage.”

Dec. 19, 2022

Section title: Gender and sexuality
Entry title: How to discuss bodies
Reason why change made:
Provide guidance on discussing bodies

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

Dec. 19, 2022

Section title: Gender and sexuality
Entry title: When to use "female" and "male" versus "woman" and "man"
Reason why change made:
Provide guidance on these terms

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

Dec. 19, 2022

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: Resources on inclusive images
Reason why change made:
Provide more helpful resources

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Inclusive Images.” Gateway to Health Communication. Last reviewed Aug. 2, 2022.

FrameWorks Institute and AARP. Reframing Aging through Images: Recommendations from Research. Washington, DC: FrameWorks Institute and AARP, 2022.

Shutterstock and American Society on Aging. Telling Age-Inclusive Stories. 2022.

Dec. 19, 2022

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: How to choose images
Reason why change made:
Provide more image banks and a more helpful organization

Original text: 
•    Humaaans: A mix-and-match tool for creating images with different skin tones, hair, clothes, and abilities (free)
•    Thenounproject.com: Icon and stock photos that celebrate diversity (free)
•    Blackillustrations.com: Photo library of illustrations of Black people
•    CreateHER: Stock images featuring Black women
•    Diversify.photo: Photographers of color
•    Jopwell Collection: Stock photography featuring Black, Latino, and Native American professionals (free)
•    Nappy.co: High-resolution photos of Black and Brown people (free)
•    TONL: Culturally diverse stock photos
•    Gender Spectrum Collection: Stock photo library featuring images of trans and nonbinary models (free)
•    Getty Images’ Project #ShowUs: Stock images of female-identifying and nonbinary individuals
•    Disabled and Here: Photos and illustrations celebrating people of color with disabilities (free)
•    Getty Images’ Disability Collection: Images of people with disabilities
•    PUSHLiving: Stock images of people with disabilities
•    Getty Images’ Disrupt Aging Collection: Photos intended to combat age stereotypes

Updated text:

General
•    Humaaans: A mix-and-match tool for creating diverse images with different skin tones, hair, clothes, and disabilities (free)
•    Thenounproject.com: Icon and stock photos that celebrate diversity (free)


Age
•    Centre for Ageing Better’s photo library: Images of people over 50 (free)
•    Changing the Narrative and NextFifty Initiative’s image bank: Images of people over 50 (free)
•    Getty Images’ Disrupt Aging Collection: Photos intended to combat age stereotypes
•    Unsplash’s Reframing Aging Collection: Images of older adults (free)

Body size
•    AllGo’s plus-size stock photos: Stock photos of plus-size people (free)
•    Body Liberation Stock: Stock images of larger-bodied people

Disability
•    Disabled and Here: Photos and illustrations celebrating people of color with disabilities (free)
•    Getty Images’ Disability Collection: Images of people with disabilities
•    PUSHLiving: Stock images of people with disabilities
•    SocietyPix’s disability collection: Photos of people with disabilities (free for editorial purposes)


Gender
•    Gender Spectrum Collection: Stock photo library featuring images of trans and nonbinary models (free)
•    Getty Images’ Project #ShowUs: Stock images of women and nonbinary people


Race and ethnicity
•    Blackillustrations.com: Photo library of illustrations of Black people
•    CreateHER: Stock images featuring Black women
•    Despora: Images of South Asian people (free)
•    Diversify.photo: Photographers of color
•    Jopwell Collection: Stock photography featuring Black, Latino, and Native American professionals (free)
•    Nappy.co: High-resolution photos of Black and Brown people (free)
•    Pocstock: Stock images of people of color
•    TONL: Culturally diverse stock photos

Dec. 19, 2022

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: How to choose images
Reason why change made:
Because everyone has abilities, regardless of disability status, a clearer phrase to include people with disabilities is “disability status.”

Original text: 
Characteristics to think about varying in images include race and ethnicity, skin tone, gender identity and expression, age, ability, body size, and hair texture.

Updated text:
Characteristics to think about varying in images include race and ethnicity, skin tone, gender identity and expression, age, disability status, body size, and hair texture.

Dec. 19, 2022

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: How to choose images
Reason why change made:
Avoid implying that "diverse" means "marginalized"

Original text: 
In addition, involve diverse people in the process of choosing, creating, and editing images for your content (see “Involve diverse people in the creative process”).

Updated text:
In addition, involve a diverse group of people in the process of choosing, creating, and editing images for your content (see “Involve a diverse group of people in the creative process”).

Dec. 16, 2022

Section title: Job descriptions
Entry title: Resources on inclusive job descriptions
Reason why change made:
Provide helpful resources

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

Dec. 16, 2022

Section title: General guidelines
Entry title: Ask people how they want to be described, and respect that language
Reason why change made:
Urge caution about choosing organizations to trust when speaking about general groups

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
Under “Recommendation,” added the following sentence to the end of the first paragraph:]
But use caution when choosing the organization to use as a source; avoid choosing ones that aren’t led by people they aim to serve.

Dec. 16, 2022

Section title: General guidelines
Entry title: Ask people how they want to be described, and respect that language
Reason why change made:
Urge caution about choosing organizations to trust when speaking about general groups

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Under “Background,” added the following paragraph:]
Sometimes, as when talking about groups in general rather than specific individuals, it’s not possible to ask people how they want to be described. The National Center on Disability and Journalism’s Disability Language Style Guide recommends, “If the source is not available or unable to communicate, ask a trusted family member, advocate, medical professional or relevant organization that represents people with disabilities.” But it’s essential to ensure the organization truly advocates for the people you’re writing about. The Center for Disability Rights’ Disability Writing & Journalism Guidelines explains, “Just because an organization claims to represent disabled people, that does not mean disabled people are actually included.” In addition, “Just because an organization is run by disabled people does not mean that accurately represents the Disability Community, either.” A similar problem occurs in language on body size. Organizations predicated on preventing or treating “obesity,” a medicalized term for higher-weight people, advocate for person-first language using the term “obesity” or “overweight.” But fat activists oppose this wording. And studies on preferred language of higher-weight people often involve people who view their weight as a problem, so the results of the studies are not generalizable.  

Dec. 16, 2022

Section title: General guidelines
Entry title: Be appropriately specific
Reason why change made:
Add guidance on when “community” is appropriate

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text: 
[Under “Background,” added the following paragraph:]
When it is necessary to discuss a large group, it is important to use language that recognizes the diversity within the group. Using the word “community” for people who aren’t personally connected but share an identity could imply that they are monolithic or like minded. For example, saying that “the Latin American community stands with the Democratic Party” hides differences in that group that greatly depend on people’s geographic location and country of origin. On the other hand, referring to a group as a community can be unifying and highlight common struggles that many group members face, like “We want to make classrooms that are accessible to the Deaf community.” In a 2015 Stanford Social Innovation Review article, David M. Chavis and Kien Lee of the equity-centered research and development firm Community Science write, “Members of a community have a sense of trust, belonging, safety, and caring for each other. They have an individual and collective sense that they can, as part of that community, influence their environments and each other.”

[Under “Recommendation,” added the following paragraph:]
Notice whether words that group people together, like “community,” erase individual differences and imply homogeneity or whether they highlight common issues faced by members of a group. Generally, it’s better to use a plural noun for large groups in which the individuals do not have personal connections to one another. See also “Recognize the diversity of Indigenous peoples.”

[Under “Examples,” added the following:]
Use: “Xenophobic rhetoric and scapegoating of Asian communities, including Muslim and Sikh communities, can make us more vulnerable to gun violence” (Everytown for Gun Safety, May 28, 2021).
Avoid: the Asian community can

Use: "The majority of Latino voters believe women should have the right to make their own decisions about having a[n] abortion" (NBC News, Feb. 29, 2016).
Avoid: The Latino community believes

Dec. 16, 2022

Section title: General guidelines
Entry title: Involve a diverse group of people in the creative process
Reason why change made:
Avoid implying that "diverse" means "underrepresented"

Original text: 
Involve diverse people in the creative process

Updated text:
Involve a diverse group of people in the creative process

Dec. 16, 2022

Section title: General guidelines
Entry title: General resources
Reason why change made:
Provide more helpful resources

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text: 
[Added the following:]
American Medical Association. Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative and Concepts. 2021.

Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications. Guidelines on Inclusive Language and Images in Scholarly Communication. Oct. 20, 2022.

Mac, Tatiana. Self-Defined.

Vox Media. Language, Please. 2022.

Sept. 30, 2022

Section title: Job descriptions
Entry title: Be specific and literal
Reason why change made:
“Neurodiversity” describes the range of neurocogniive functioning. “Neurodivergent” is “having a mind that functions in ways which diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of ‘normal,' ” according to Nick Walker, a professor of psychology, educator, and author.

Original text: 
Additionally, the use of phrases like “will be expected to juggle tasks” can be misinterpreted not only by neurodiverse candidates, such as those on the autism spectrum, but also some people who have learned English as an additional language.

Updated text: 
Additionally, the use of phrases like “will be expected to juggle tasks” can be misinterpreted by not only neurodivergent candidates, such as those on the autism spectrum, but also some people who have learned English as an additional language.

Sept. 27, 2022

Section title: Job descriptions
Entry title: Not applicable
Reason why change made: Provide guidance on writing job descriptions

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text: 
[Section added]

Sept. 15, 2022

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: How to choose images
Reason why change made: Avoid implying that "diverse" means "marginalized"

Original text: 
Examples of websites that focus on diverse photos and illustrations include the following

Updated text: 
Examples of websites that focus on increasing the representation of marginalized groups in photos and illustrations include the following

Sept. 15, 2022

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: How to choose images
Reason why change made: Avoid using “diverse” for a single thing, like a photo

Original text: 
A mix-and-match tool for creating diverse images with different skin tones, hair, clothes, and ability

Updated text: 
A mix-and-match tool for creating images with different skin tones, hair, clothes, and ability

Sept. 15, 2022

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: How to choose images
Reason why change made: Avoid using “diverse” for a single thing, like a photo

Original text: 
Diverse icon and stock photos

Updated text: 
Icon and stock photos that celebrate diversity

Sept. 15, 2022

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: Editing photos
Reason why change made: Avoid using “diverse” for a single thing, like a photo

Original text: 
Editing photos to artificially make them appear more diverse (such as by using Photoshop to include more people of color in a photo) can also be inauthentic and treat diversity like a marketing tactic instead of a true value and is not condoned by the American Chemical Society.

Updated text: 
Editing photos to artificially show more diversity (such as by using Photoshop to include more people of color in a photo) can also be inauthentic and treat diversity like a marketing tactic instead of a true value and is not condoned by the American Chemical Society.


May–August 2022

June 17, 2022

Section title: Socioeconomic status
Entry title: Show variety within socioeconomic status groups
Reason why change made: Clarify why it's important to show racial variety within working and middle classes specifically

Original text: 
Actively include people of color in narratives about working-class and middle-class people.

Updated text: 
In discussions of working-class and middle-class people in particular, aim to include the names of races and ethnicities beyond White to avoid perpetuating a perception that those classes are White only.

June 17, 2022

Section title: Socioeconomic status
Entry title: Do not use racially coded terms for socioeconomic status
Reason why change made: Clarify that the term is racially coded in the US specifically

Original text: 
The problems that people associate with the “inner city”

Updated text: 
"The problems that people associate with the “inner city” in the US

June 17, 2022

Section title: Socioeconomic status
Entry title: When and how to refer to socioeconomic status groups
Reason why change made: Clarify that there is more than one "poverty line"

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text: 
If you use "poverty line," note which kind, because countries define country-level poverty thresholds, while the World Bank defines a global poverty line. [after "Consider including contextual details about net worth or measuring income relative to the poverty line, a benchmark that may serve as a recognizable and quantifiable standard, though it has been critiqued as a flawed and outdated measure of poverty."]

June 17, 2022

Section title: Socioeconomic status
Entry title: Acknowledge systemic factors that affect socioeconomic status
Reason why change made: Use present-tense verb to show that the structures still cause unequal access.

Original text: 
Similarly, the term “food desert” portrays access to food as a naturally occurring situation, whereas other terms, like “food apartheid,” aim to emphasize the racial discrimination and structural barriers that caused unequal food access in US society.

Updated text: 
Similarly, the term “food desert” portrays access to food as a naturally occurring situation, whereas other terms, like “food apartheid,” aim to emphasize the racial discrimination and structural barriers that cause unequal food access in US society.

June 17, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Avoid using disability-related terms to describe something negative
Reason why change made: The original example's quotation marks around "quick check" made it seem like an unusual term instead of the straightforward term that it is.

Original text: 
“It may be prudent to run a ‘quick-check’ to observe if improving the image quality indeed showed any promise in improving species-level identification” (Sci. Rep. 2021, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-86643-y).

Updated text: 
"This title will be most useful to the synthetic chemist who wishes to browse the literature for new reactions or run a quick check on the feasibility of a required transformation" (J. Nat. Prod. 2004, DOI: 10.1021/np030729w).

Jun. 17, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Avoid language that perpetuates racial or ethnic stereotypes or is rooted in violence against these groups
Reason why change made: The original doesn't capture the true problem with "master." Other words, like "actor," have equivalents for women but aren't as problematic. The problem lies more in both the word's denotation and connotation of male dominance.

Original text: 
Another example is the word “master,” which is often associated with slavery and is masculine (e.g., it’s often contrasted with “mistress”); to be more inclusive, many people and organizations have moved away from the use of “master” when possible, including in real estate, sommelier titles, and academic titles.

Updated text: 
Another example is the word “master,” which is often associated with slavery and has definitions based on male dominance (“a male teacher” and “the male head of a household” in Merriam-Webster). To be more inclusive, many people and organizations have moved away from the use of “master” when possible, including in real estate, sommelier titles, and academic titles.

June 17, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Avoid associating “black” or darkness with bad, and “white” or lightness with good
Reason why change made: Remove information that was only tangentially related

Original text: 
Also note that some people question the usefulness of dividing journals into “safe” and “unsafe” lists (e.g., J. Acad. Libr. 2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2018.09.017), so moving away from “whitelist” and “blacklist” may also have the advantage of being more practically useful.

Updated text: 
[Deleted these sentences]

Jun. 17, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Recognize the diversity of Indigenous peoples
Reason why change made: Avoid confusion with meaning of word "language"

Original text: 
Ask the individual or group you’re communicating about for the most appropriate and accurate language to use

Updated text: 
Ask the individual or group you’re communicating about for the most appropriate and accurate terminology to use

Jun. 17, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Use language that accurately reflects events harming people of color
Reason why change made: Clarify the context of when "discovered" is inappropriate

Original text: 
Avoid words, such as “discovered”, that ignore the history of Indigenous people

Updated text: 
Avoid words, such as “discovered” in reference to places, that ignore the history of Indigenous people

June 17, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Common questions
Reason why change made: Clarify definition of "disability" and why it's important to define it for users. Remind people to ask why they're asking about disabilities.

Original text: 
Background: There are six types of disabilities commonly asked about for survey purposes—hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care, and independent living difficulties. The first four are most applicable to ACS programs, products, and services (in some cases, for the delivery of services, programs, and events, and in others, for measuring participation). Recommendation: Ask whether the user has a physical or cognitive disability, and provide the option “Prefer not to say.” If it is more informative to know what accommodations might be required for participation in an event or training, ask those relevant questions instead.

Recommendation: Ask whether the user has a physical or cognitive disability, and provide the option “Prefer not to say.” If it is more informative to know what accommodations might be required for participation in an event or training, ask those relevant questions instead.

Updated text: 
Background: Organizations and individuals define disability differently. For example, the ADA National Network, an organization providing guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), explains, “It is important to remember that in the context of the ADA, ‘disability’ is a legal term rather than a medical one. Because it has a legal definition, the ADA’s definition of disability is different from how disability is defined under some other laws, such as for Social Security Disability related benefits.” And many people who might fall under a definition of “disability”—such as deaf people, autistic people, and people with a mental illness—may not consider themselves disabled. So when asking about whether users have a disability, it’s important to define your terms and the purpose of asking for the information. An example is Form CC-305, which is used by US federal organizations to invite job applicants to self-identify as disabled. The form starts by explaining why it is asking for self-identification and then defines what it considers to be a “disability” and lists common examples.

Recommendation: Explain the purpose of asking for disability identification—for example, is it to track progress in encouraging people with disabilities to apply for or participate in a program? Is it to help track the diversity of participants? Is it to enable the organization to offer accommodations? Then define what you mean by “disability,” and consider giving examples. If your goal is simply to ensure all users can access your program or service, ask what accommodations users need instead of asking about disability status. Ensure questions about disability do not violate any nondiscrimination laws, and tell users that providing the information is voluntary. Employers who want to ask applicants or employees about disability should contact their human resources departments for more guidance on specific wording to use.

Jun. 17, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Common questions
Reason why change made: Match the wording in the question about gender identity

Original text: 
Providing only “male” and “female”

Updated text: 
Providing only “man” and “woman”

June 17, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: Remind people to state why they're asking the question about disabilities and whether it's the right question to ask.

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text: 
[Tip box near the question about disabilities] As with other questions, explicitly state why the data are being collected—for example, to keep track of participant diversity or progress in an organization’s ability to recruit people with disabilities. If inquiring about accommodations will meet the needs of your form, use only that question instead.

June 17, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: More clearly define "disability" and simplify the question. The original didn't clarify why we needed to separate physical and cognitive disabilities. Clarify that the American Chemical Society does not discriminate on the basis of any disability.

Original text: 
The American Chemical Society does not discriminate on the basis of physical or cognitive disabilities.
Do you have a physical or cognitive disability?
Yes, physical
Yes, cognitive
No
Prefer not to say

Updated text: 
The American Chemical Society does not discriminate on the basis of disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” For examples of disabilities, see Form CC-305.
Do you have any disabilities?
Yes
No
Prefer not to say

June 17, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: Clarify that the American Chemical Society does not discriminate on the basis of any disability

Original text: 
[Above the question "Do you require any of the following accommodations to fully participate in this event or program? Please select all that apply."] The American Chemical Society does not discriminate on the basis of physical or cognitive disabilities.

Updated text: 
The American Chemical Society does not discriminate on the basis of disability.

May 19, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: Use the terms that are more associated with identity than biology. In “The Radical Copyeditor’s Style Guide for Writing about Transgender People," Alex Kapitan points out the pitfalls of trying to draw "a hard line between the language of biological sex (female, male, intersex) and gender identity (girl, woman, boy, man, agender, genderqueer, etc.)" and explains that "female and woman are unquestionably widely understood as interchangeable words." Nevertheless, since many interpret "female" and "male" as biological terms, we chose "woman" and "man" instead. This aligns with other guides, including the Royal Society of Chemistry's guide to data collection.

Original text: 
Please select your gender:
Female
Male
Nonbinary
Self-describe______
Prefer not to say

Updated text: 
Please select your gender:
Woman
Man
Nonbinary
Self-describe_____
Prefer not to say

May 19, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for forms
Reason why change made: Add more resources

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

May 4, 2022

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: Resources on inclusive images
Reason why change made: Add more resources

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text: 
[Added the following:]
Betancourt, Acacia. “How to Choose Diverse and Inclusive Photos.” Forum One, 2019, revised Oct. 20, 2021.

Ma, Christine. “Picture Book Images and Unconscious Bias,” Conscious Style Guide, April 13, 2022.

May 4, 2022

Section title: Introduction
Entry title: Why should you use the guide?
Reason why change made: Provide links to research supporting the statement

May 4, 2022

Section title: General guidelines
Entry title: General resources
Reason why change made: Add more helpful resources

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]
American Psychological Association. Inclusive Language Guidelines.

Maggio, Rosalie. Unspinning the Spin: The Women’s Media Center Guide to Fair and Accurate Language. Oct. 13, 2021.

Simon Fraser University. “Inclusive and Antiracist Writing.” Student Learning Commons. Last modified Jan. 19, 2022.

The Micropedia. Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity. “#WriteInclusion Factsheets.”

May 4, 2022

Section title: General guidelines
Entry title: Ask people how they want to be described, and respect that language
Reason why change made: Explain what to do when you can’t personally ask a person or group about the language they want to use. The NCDJ’s style guide says, “When possible, ask sources how they would like to be described. If the source is not available or unable to communicate, ask a trusted family member, advocate, medical professional or relevant organization that represents people with disabilities.” The article “Avoiding Ableist Language: Suggestions for Autism Researchers” says, “We recommend that researchers consider the majority preferences for particular language (which could involve polling their research participants as part of standard data collection methods), the specific arguments made by autistic community members when articulating their preferences, and existing recommendations by academic and professional organizations to respect the majority language preferences of the group being referred to.”

Original text: 
When writing about someone’s race, ethnicity, gender identity, health, age, or other characteristic, ask how they would like to be described. Then use that language. Terms that this guide says to avoid can be retained in official names of organizations and programs. When they appear in a quote, consider whether the quote is necessary and the benefit versus harm of keeping that term in your content. If retaining the wording would cause more harm, then paraphrase.

Updated text:
When writing about someone’s race, ethnicity, gender identity, health, age, or other characteristic, ask how they would like to be described. Then use that language. When it’s not possible to ask an individual or group, use the language recommended by organizations that advocate for the identity you’re trying to describe. For example, if you are unable to determine the language that a group of people with a specific disability wants to use, look at the language that organizations representing people with that disability use. Although preferences within groups vary, using terms that advocacy organizations promote is acceptable when individual preferences can’t be ascertained.

Terms that this guide says to avoid can be retained in official names of organizations and programs. When they appear in a quote, consider whether the quote is necessary and the benefit versus harm of keeping that term in your content. If retaining the wording would cause more harm, then paraphrase.

May 4, 2022

Section title: Gender and sexuality
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for gender and sexuality
Reason why change made: Update the reference to the latest version

Original text: 
GLAAD. GLAAD Media Reference Guide, 10th ed. October 2016.

Updated text:
GLAAD. GLAAD Media Reference Guide, 11th ed.

May 4, 2022

Section title: Gender and sexuality
Entry title: Discussing pronouns
Reason why change made: Clarify that there isn’t a “right” pronoun for any given gender

Original text: 
People with any gender identity can use any pronoun.

Updated text:
There is no one correct pronoun for any gender identity.

May 4, 2022

Section title: Gender and sexuality
Entry title: Singular “they” for people who use that pronoun
Reason why change made: Explain that some people use no pronouns and what to do in those cases

Original text: 
Background: Some people use the pronoun “they.” Using someone’s correct pronoun shows respect for that person. The singular “they” for a person has become common practice; it doesn’t need to be explained in the text. Furthermore, explaining someone’s pronoun can make that person feel excluded or that they are unusual. But for reader understanding, a brief explanation of someone’s use of a more uncommon pronoun, like “xe” and “ze,” may be necessary.

Recommendation: Use the singular “they” for people who use that pronoun. Conjugate it with a plural verb: “They are.” Do not explain its use; just use it. Do not use awkward constructions like repeating the person’s name in every sentence to avoid using their correct pronoun. Just as with any good writing, the meaning of the pronoun should be clear, so make sure that the use of “they” for a single person is unambiguous. If a reflexive pronoun is needed, ask the person if they use “themself” or “themselves.” If you cannot determine what a person uses, use “themself.” If someone uses a more uncommon pronoun, briefly explain it, using the word “use.” Also see “Discussing pronouns.”

Updated text:
Background: Some people use the pronoun “they.” Using someone’s correct pronoun shows respect for that person. The singular “they” for a person has become common practice; it doesn’t need to be explained in the text. Furthermore, explaining someone’s pronoun can make that person feel excluded or that they are unusual. But for reader understanding, a brief explanation of someone’s use of a more uncommon pronoun, like “xe” and “ze,” may be necessary.

Note that the singular “they” is different than using no pronouns—using “they” in those cases would be using the wrong pronoun.

Recommendation: Use the singular “they” for people who use that pronoun. Conjugate it with a plural verb: “They are.” Do not explain its use; just use it. Do not use awkward constructions like repeating the person’s name in every sentence to avoid using their correct pronoun. Just as with any good writing, the meaning of the pronoun should be clear, so make sure that the use of “they” for a single person is unambiguous. If a reflexive pronoun is needed, ask the person if they use “themself” or “themselves.” If you cannot determine what a person uses, use “themself.” If someone uses a more uncommon pronoun, briefly explain it, using the word “use.” If someone uses no pronoun, repeat the name or use a noun, like “my friend.” Also see “Discussing pronouns.”

May 4, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: To provide an option for people to request a human assistant

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[In the question “Do you require any of the following accommodations to fully participate in this event or program?," added the following option under “Foods that meet dietary restrictions (Please list.) _____”]
Human assistant or human aid to navigate the event

May 4, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: To avoid “tribal,” since some Indigenous groups find that term disrespectful or don't use the term

Original text: 
For example, users can provide information on nationality, or those that identify as Indigenous can specify continent and tribal affiliation.

Updated text:
For example, all users can provide information on nationality, and Indigenous users can provide the name of a specific Indigenous people.

May 4, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: Make “Latine” an option because many see that as more inclusive than “Latinx.” Since “Latine” is still not widely known, keep “Latinx” in parentheses for wider recognition.

Original text: 
Latina/Latino/Latinx

Updated text:
Latina/Latine (Latinx)/Latino

May 4, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: Use the more commonly used term (e.g., used in the US census)

Original text: 
Native Alaskan

Updated text:
Alaska Native

May 4, 2022

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: Put examples in alphabetical order

Original text: 
(e.g., MA, MS, MEd)

Updated text:
(e.g., MA, MEd, MS)

May 4, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Capitalization of health conditions
Reason why change made: In March 2022, the Associated Press updated its guidelines to allow using “Deaf” when discussing Deaf culture.

Original text: 
Although AP style uses lowercase “deaf” in all uses, the National Center on Disability and Journalism recommends differentiating between “deaf” and “Deaf.”

Updated text:
Although AP style uses lowercase “deaf” for individuals, the National Center on Disability and Journalism recommends differentiating between “deaf” and “Deaf.”

May 4, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Capitalization of health conditions
Reason why change made: The National Center on Disability and Journalism’s guide no longer includes this exact wording in its recommendation (though it still recommends differentiating between “deaf” and “Deaf”).

Original text: 
For the word “deaf,” follow the National Center on Disability and Journalism’s recommendation: “Lowercase when referring to a hearing-loss condition or to a deaf person who prefers lowercase. Capitalize for those who identify as members of the Deaf community or when they capitalize Deaf when describing themselves.”

Updated text:
For the word “deaf,” capitalize it when referring to Deaf culture, the Deaf community, or people who identify as Deaf with a capital “D.” Lowercase when referring to people who use lowercase “deaf” or when referring to the audiological condition.

May 4, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Neutral language for disabilities, disorders, and diseases
Reason why change made: State that phrases like “victim” for a disability are ableist, and refer to new entries related to ableism

Original text: 
Phrases like “suffers from,” “is afflicted with,” “is a victim of,” and “is stricken with” in reference to people with disabilities, diseases, or disorders connote pity and helplessness and imply a person has a reduced quality of life. In addition to the connotation of helplessness with “victim,” the word is problematic because it’s unclear whether the person died of the disease. Militaristic terms like “battle” in reference to health imply that if someone fights hard enough, they can overcome a health condition, and those that died, or “lost their battle,” weren’t strong enough to survive. Individuals have different preferences regarding the term “survivor.” Some people feel that it is empowering, whereas others do not identify with the term and find it offensive or misleading. The term is also imprecise. For example, the National Cancer Institute says, “In cancer, a person is considered to be a survivor from the time of diagnosis until the end of life.” But many people tend to use the term to refer to people who have completed treatment.

Updated text:
Phrases like “suffers from,” “is afflicted with,” “is a victim of,” and “is stricken with” in reference to people with disabilities, diseases, or disorders connote pity and helplessness and imply a person has a reduced quality of life. In addition to the connotation of helplessness with “victim,” the word is problematic because it’s unclear whether the person died. When phrases like these are used to describe disability, they create an ableist narrative—one that assumes people with disabilities are worth less than nondisabled people. (See also “Avoid euphemisms related to disability,” “Avoid casual uses of disability-related terms,” and “Avoid using disability-related terms to describe something negative.”)

Militaristic terms like “battle” in reference to health imply that if someone fights hard enough, they can overcome a health condition, and those that died, or “lost their battle,” weren’t strong enough to survive. Individuals have different preferences regarding the term “survivor.” Some people feel that it is empowering, whereas others do not identify with the term and find it offensive or misleading. The term is also imprecise. For example, the National Cancer Institute says, “In cancer, a person is considered to be a survivor from the time of diagnosis until the end of life.” But many people tend to use the term to refer to people who have completed treatment.

May 4, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for health
Reason why change made: Add more helpful resources

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]
Andrews, Erin. E., Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Linda R. Mona, Emily M. Lund, Carrie R. Pilarski, and Rochelle Balter. “#SaytheWord: A Disability Culture Commentary on the Erasure of ‘Disability.’ ” Rehabil. Psychol. 62, no. 2 (2019): 111–18. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rep0000258.

Brown, Lydia X. Z. “Ableism/Language.” Autistic Hoya (blog). Last modified Nov. 16, 2021.

Maggio, Rosalie. “Mental Illness.” Unspinning the Spin: The Women’s Media Center Guide to Fair and Accurate Language.

May 4, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Avoid euphemisms related to disability
Reason why change made: Explain why not to use euphemisms for disabilities

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

May 4, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Avoid metaphorical uses of disability-related terms
Reason why change made: Explain why metaphorical uses of disability-related terms can be harmful

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

May 4, 2022

Section title: Disabilities, disorders, and other health conditions
Entry title: Avoid using disability-related terms to describe something negative
Reason why change made: Explain why using disability-related terms for something negative is ableist

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

May 2022

Section title: Introduction
Entry title: Why should you use the guide?
Reason why change made: Provide resources on implicit bias

Original text: 
The human brain is capable of change, and with awareness of those biases and purposeful work to overcome them, we can create environments that are truly inclusive of everyone.

Updated text:
The human brain is capable of change, and with awareness of those biases and purposeful work to overcome them, we can create environments that are truly inclusive of everyone.1    

1. There is much peer-reviewed research, resources, and trainings on the topic of implicit bias. We recommend the National Institutes of Health Sociocultural Factors webpage, the Ohio State University 2017 State of the Science Implicit Bias Review, and a summary of studies on the existence of implicit bias for more information.


January–April 2022

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Multiracial, mixed race
Reason why change made: Describe recommended wording for people with multiple racial heritages

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Recognize the diversity of Indigenous peoples
Reason why change made: Explain the diversity within the group “Indigenous people” and how to recognize that with language

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Use language that respects Indigenous people’s autonomy
Reason why change made: Explain how things like lowercasing certain words and possessives before names can undercut Indigenous people’s autonomy

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Avoid language that perpetuates racial or ethnic stereotypes or is rooted in violence against these groups
Reason why change made: Explain how certain words can enforce stereotypes against particular racial and ethnic groups or harm them because of violent origins

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Cultural appropriation in language
Reason why change made: Define cultural appropriation in language and provide examples

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Avoid associating “black” or darkness with bad, and “white” or lightness with good
Reason why change made: Explain how the “black is bad” and “white is good” emphasis in language can be harmful

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Use language that accurately reflects events harming people of color
Reason why change made: Explain that euphemistic language for events that harmed people of color can perpetuate misconceptions

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Enslaved people, slaves
Reason why change made: Explain language around slavery

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Tribe, tribal
Reason why change made: Explain when to avoid “tribe” and “tribal”

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added entry]

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Resources on inclusive language for race, ethnicity, and nationality
Reason why change made: Add more helpful resources

Original text:
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added the following:]
University of British Columbia. Indigenous Peoples: Language Guidelines. Version 3.0. (University of British Columbia, 2021).

Australian Government. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.” Style Manual. Last modified Sept. 6, 2021.

Australians Together. Language and Terminology Guide. Version 1.3. (April 2020).

Dastagir, Alia E. “Microaggressions Don’t Just ‘Hurt Your Feelings.’ ” USA Today, Feb. 28, 2018.

Foreman, P. Gabrielle, et al. “Writing about Slavery/Teaching About Slavery: This Might Help.” Community-sourced document.

Indigenous Corporate Training. Indigenous Peoples: A Guide to Terminology—Usage Tips and Definitions. (Indigenous Corporate Training, 2021).

Indigenous Foundations. “Terminology.” First Nations and Indigenous Studies, the University of British Columbia.

Japanese American Citizens League. Power of Words Handbook: A Guide to Language about Japanese Americans in World War II. (San Francisco: Japanese American Citizens League, 2013, rev. 2020).

Journalists for Human Rights. Style Guide for Reporting on Indigenous People. (Toronto: Journalists for Human Rights, 2017).

Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Education. “Terminology Guide.”

National Park Service. “Language of Slavery.” Underground Railroad. Last modified Jan. 28, 2022.

Native Governance Center. “How to Talk about Native Nations: A Guide.” May 27, 2021.

Underground Railroad History Project. “The Vocabulary of Freedom.”

University of New South Wales. “Indigenous Terminology.” Teaching. Last modified August 2019. Adapted from "Using the Right Words: Appropriate Terminology for Indigenous Australian Studies." In Teaching the Teachers: Indigenous Australian Studies for Primary Pre-Service Teacher Education, School of Teacher Education, University of New South Wales, 1996.

Younging, Gregory. Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing by and about Indigenous Peoples. (Canada: Brush Education, 2018).

April 29, 2022

Section title: Race, ethnicity, and nationality
Entry title: Minorities non-White
Reason why change made: This example helps illustrate the pitfall of using “underrepresented” when a larger group and the context aren’t specified.

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added example] Use: “The Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration, a nonprofit that works with the FDA, has conducted listening sessions with essential workers and Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous people to hear their concerns about the vaccines and ultimately address them in future FDA messaging” (C&EN, Jan. 25, 2021).
Avoid: essential workers and underrepresented people (It’s unclear what larger group the people were underrepresented in and whether they are underrepresented because of race, socioeconomic status, or another factor. It’s clearer to state the specific group names.)

April 28, 2022

Section title: Socioeconomic status
Entry title: [Not applicable]
Reason why change made: Give guidance on language for socioeconomic status

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[Added section]

  Jan. 24, 2022

Section title: Accessibility
Entry title: Alt text
Reason why change made: Alt text is not the same as hover text.

Original text: 
Alt text also sometimes appears when the mouse hovers over an image and when an image doesn’t load.

Updated text:
Alt text also appears when an image doesn’t load.

  Jan. 7, 2022

Section title: General guidelines
Entry title: When to use "diverse"
Reason why change made: To more clearly point readers to the flowchart as a resource

Original text: 
[“a singular noun isn’t diverse” is linked to https://radicalcopyeditor.com/2017/10/02/should-i-use-the-adjective-diverse/]

Updated text:
[Removed link. Added new sentence to the end of the “Recommendation” section.] For a walk-through of when to use "diverse," see this flowchart from Radical Copyeditor.


December 2021

  Dec. 17, 2021

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: To clarify why people may select multiple pronouns

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[For the pronoun question] Note: Why select all that apply? Some people use multiple pronouns (e.g., he/they or she/they)

  Dec. 17, 2021

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: To clarify that the options are for a global audience but written from a US perspective

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
[For the race and ethnicity question] This question and the answer options were selected to best accommodate a global audience from a US lens. Bear in mind who your respondents are likely to be and how this question might be interpreted in that context.

  Dec. 17, 2021

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: To be more inclusive

Original text: 
African or Black

Updated text:
African descent or Black

  Dec. 17, 2021

Section title: Forms
Entry title: Example form
Reason why change made: To give more options

Original text: 
[Not applicable]

Updated text:
Unknown or unsure

  Dec. 13, 2021

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: Stereotypes in images
Reason why change made: The word "obesity" medicalizes and stigmatizes higher-weight people.

Original text: 
For example, several obesity-related organizations have image banks that avoid stigma.

Updated text:
For example, several organizations have image banks that avoid stigma around body size.

  Dec. 13, 2021

Section title: Diversity and inclusion in images
Entry title: Stereotypes in images
Reason why change made: The word "obesity" medicalizes and stigmatizes higher-weight people.

Original text: 
In an article on obesity

Updated text:
In an article on body size

Dec. 10, 2021

Guide created