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Guidelines for Inclusive Language,1 What is inclusive language. Inclusive language is language that is free from words phrases or tones that reflect prejudiced. stereotyped or discriminatory views of particular people or groups It is also language that doesn t. deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from being seen as part of a group Inclusive language is. sometimes called non discriminatory language, Stereotyping means presuming a range of things about people based on one or two of their personal. characteristics such as their appearance apparent intelligence personality or character or their. gender sexual orientation race ethnicity age location socioeconomic status or disability. Stereotypes are usually used in a negative way and are often evidence of prejudice against others. Even when a remark or action based on a stereotype is not based on a conscious prejudice it can still. be hurtful and cause harm or damage to the person, Discriminating against a person or group of people means treating people less favourably than others. or doing something that has a less favourable effect on someone because of their personal. characteristics,2 Why is inclusive language important. Language is our main form of communication and it plays a powerful role both in contributing to and in. eliminating discrimination Language that is exclusive is harmful because it can inhibit or prevent. students reaching their full potential and benefitting from their educational experiences People can be. hurt demeaned and offended by discriminatory language Even positive stereotyping for example. suggesting that a particular race gender or age group are gifted in a particular area can be damaging. as this oversimplifies individual characteristics and ignores the diversity within groups and society more. The use of inclusive language is an important way to reflect the diverse nature of Australian society. Non discriminatory language avoids false assumptions about people and helps to promote respectful. relationships A commitment to inclusive language is an important attribute of a modern diverse and. inclusive society Inclusive language enables everyone to feel that they are being reflected in what is. being said, The goal of developing inclusive societies is embodied in a number of international national and state.
laws relating to equal opportunity and anti discrimination As a result it is generally unlawful to. Discrimination is prohibited under law by,Anti Discrimination Act 1998 Tasmania. State Service Act 2000 Tasmania,Age Discrimination Act 2004 Commonwealth. Racial Discrimination Act 1975 Commonwealth,Disability Discrimination Act 1992 Commonwealth. Please refer to the online copy of this document TASED 4 1772 located on the Tasmanian Department. of Education s website to ensure this version is the most recent Version 2 0 Page 2. discriminate on the grounds of a wide range of characteristics including race colour national or ethnic. origin gender sexual orientation age or disability be it physical sensory intellectual or psychiatric. There is no place in written or spoken communication for uninformed prejudiced stereotypical or. insensitive references to people based on their actual or perceived characteristics or membership of. particular groups, 3 Inclusive language and the Department of Education. The Department of Education through its key values of equity respect and relationships is committed. to providing equal opportunity and access for all people Inclusive language can play an important role. in acknowledging everyone and treating all people equitably and with the sensitivity and respect to. which they are entitled, Employees and students are encouraged to be aware of their responsibility to use inclusive language.
Discriminatory language is damaging to others in work and learning environments From a. professional point of view it is important that inclusive language is used in all forms of communication. as a means of showing courtesy and respect for diversity Communication is less effective if. inaccurate irrelevant or exclusive language is used. 4 What are some examples of inclusive language, Inclusive language is important in all areas where individuals and groups may be referred to on the. basis of certain characteristics W hen referring to individuals characteristics such as the person s. gender sexual orientation religion racial group or physical characteristics should only be mentioned. where this information is relevant to the discussion. Any group characteristics should always be applied with care and consideration with an awareness of. the diversity of the audience and always be couched in inclusive terms. Historically and in common practice there are some particular areas where individuals and groups. have been marginalised or have experienced discrimination In particular people have experienced. discrimination because of their culture race and ethnicity gender sexual orientation age disability. socioeconomic status personal appearance and where they live. The following sections briefly consider each of these key areas in terms of language inclusivity and. includes practical examples of language usage for each that is more inclusive. In using inclusive language it is useful to keep the following generic questions in mind. 1 Is it necessary to refer to personal characteristics such as sex religion racial group disability. or age at all, 2 Are the references to group characteristics couched in inclusive terms. 3 Do the references to people reflect the diversity of the intended audience. Sex Discrimination Act 1984 Commonwealth,Fair Work Act 2009 Commonwealth. Be careful not to presume the audience doesn t include people with particular characteristics just because you. can t see them People may have hidden characteristics or be closely associated or related to people with a. range of characteristics and be offended or upset by inappropriate language about people with those. characteristics, Please refer to the online copy of this document TASED 4 1772 located on the Tasmanian Department. of Education s website to ensure this version is the most recent Version 2 0 Page 3. 4 Is the use of jargon and acronyms excluding people who may not have specialised knowledge. of a particular subject, Finally inclusive language does not mean cumbersome dull or vague language it simply means.
language that has been carefully constructed in ways that treat all people with respect and impartiality. 5 Culture race and ethnicity, Australia is a racially and culturally diverse nation but a history of colonisation and immigration has. made English the dominant language and Anglo Celtic culture mainstream However rich diverse and. long standing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Indigenous cultures that predate European. colonisation by over a thousand generations along with changing and diverse patterns of migration. from countries and cultures where English is not the first language mean that language inclusiveness. with respect to culture race and ethnicity is important. Ethnic and racial labels names and expressions can be created and used to portray certain groups as. inferior or superior to others Sometimes this usage is unintentional and stems from the continued. dominance of mainstream culture other times it is deliberately used to marginalise demean and. discriminate W hichever is the case there are many ways to make language usage more inclusive with. respect to culture race and ethnicity, Some of the key ways to be more inclusive with regards to race ethnicity and culture include. avoiding undue emphasis on racial and ethnic differences eg only refer to the ethnic or racial. background of a person or group if it is relevant to the discussion. avoiding stereotyping eg making positive or negative generalisations about members of a. particular racial ethnic or national group in ways that detract from people s fundamental. humanity and individuality, avoiding the promotion of racial or ethnic invisibility eg the use of umbrella terms such as. Asians that ignores multiple ethnicities within Asia Instead refer to people from Indonesia. Thailand etc, avoiding the use of expressions that ignore the history achievements and continuing cultures. of Aboriginal people in Australia eg Australia was first settled in 1788. avoiding the use of derogatory labelling offensive humour and ethnic and racial slurs eg the. use of terms whose main function is to set aside some groups from an implied mainstream by. stressing their eccentricity or undesirability or by attempting to be divisive through language. by suggesting a them and us mentality The use of terms like ethnics or ethnic Australians. can imply a distinction that is divisive whereas ethnic and racial groups is a more. straightforward and descriptive usage, avoiding positive patronising comments based on stereotypes such as You speak such.
good English, using terms that are inclusive such as first name and family name rather than Christian. name and surname, avoiding referring to people by their migration status such as former refugee humanitarian. entrant or former humanitarian entrant new arrival etc. Sometimes the use of generic terms and expressions is ideal For example use of the term. Australian can be highly inclusive provided it is intended to include all communities and individuals. Please refer to the online copy of this document TASED 4 1772 located on the Tasmanian Department. of Education s website to ensure this version is the most recent Version 2 0 Page 4. within Australia irrespective of the person s background or country of birth and not used in ways that. exclude Indigenous or immigrant people, If it is important to specify the descent or ethnicity of a person or group a number of strategies can be. adopted to maximise inclusivity of language, Use a qualifier in conjunction with the noun Australian eg Vietnamese born Australian Iraqi. Arabic speaking Australian Jewish Australians etc, Use phrases that refer to a person or group s background or origin eg Australian of Irish.
background Australians of Chilean descent etc, It should be noted that some Australians prefer not to be identified through origin or descent at all This. preference should be respected, With regard to languages it is best to try to avoid the various acronyms used to describe people whose. home language is not Standard Australian English such as NESB Non English Speaking. Background and ESL English as a Second Language These privilege English as a reference point. and suggest that any language that is not English is limiting. The recent adoption of the acronym EAL English as an Additional Language reflects a trend towards. language that is more inclusive and respectful of Australians rich linguistic heritages. 6 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, The most accurate and inclusive collective term for Indigenous Australians is Aboriginal and Torres. Strait Islander peoples Other widely accepted group terms include Aboriginal people s Australian. Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, The words Indigenous Aborigines and Aboriginal s are always capitalised when referring to. Australian Aboriginal people and should never be abbreviated. In addition to this many Aboriginal groups identify and refer to themselves using local terms derived. from their own languages for example Palawa for Tasmanian Aboriginal people or Koori in parts of. south eastern Australia within these many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples identify with. more localised language groups and regional areas In order to achieve language inclusiveness and. respect for both groups and individuals such terms however localised or idiomatic should be. identified and used There is no substitute for simply asking the people concerned and respecting their. The linguistic portrayal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within Australia continues to be. often negative and stereotypical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are often described in. racial group terms for example as blacks natives or Aborigines often in ways that imply. primitiveness and rarely as individuals with personal names Education can play a powerful role in. addressing this language usage, Similarly terms that emphasise only part of this definition eg of Aboriginal descent has Aboriginal.
heritage of Aboriginal background do not relate to the full reality of what it is to be Aboriginal and. must not be used Terms that distinguish between Aboriginal people in terms of racial purity eg full. blood Aborigines half caste part Aboriginal are often used to serve discriminatory purposes do not. reflect the reality of being Aboriginal or treat people as less than whole and must be avoided. Similarly terms that are used to denigrate or diminish the validity of Aboriginal languages or cultures. for example referring to languages as pidgin or to spiritual and cultural belief systems as myths or. legends must be avoided It also must be recognised that attempts to conceptualise Aboriginal. cultural practices using English words eg dreamtime stories often have negative connotations and. Please refer to the online copy of this document TASED 4 1772 located on the Tasmanian Department. of Education s website to ensure this version is the most recent Version 2 0 Page 5. can be used out of context so due care should be exercised This is however an important. characteristics such as their appearance apparent intelligence personality or character or their gender sexual orientation race ethnicity age location socioeconomic status or disability Stereotypes are usually used in a negative way and are often evidence of prejudice against others

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