Inclusive Language

Inclusive language:

  • Acknowledges diversity
  • Conveys respect to all people
  • Is sensitive to differences
  • Promotes equal opportunities

Inclusive language prevents:

  • Marginalization
  • Offense
  • Misrepresentation
  • The per­pet­u­a­tion of stereotypes

Using inclusive language makes our content more accurate and helps build trust with our audience. While you may always have the best of intentions, one absent moment can leave a lasting impact. Stay up to date on evolving terminology and keep an eye out for old habits in the following categories.

Every person is a person, regardless of how they interact with the world. Treat them like a person. Don’t define people by their dis­abil­i­ties or assume anything about a certain condition.

That person is disabled.

That person is confined to a wheelchair.

That person is suffering from a disease.

That person is crazy.

Don't define people based on something they might have.

That is a person with disabilities.

That person uses a wheelchair.

That person has a disease.

That person is living with a mental illness.

Do state facts rather than assumptions.

Do you absolutely need to include this information in your content? Give it a second thought. If so, ask the person you’re referring to for permission and what terms they prefer.

  • Make content gender neutral where possible. (We whole-heartedly approve of using they” as singular!)
  • Never guess about age, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Be consistent when presenting individuals within a piece of content. If you reference a male coach by last name only, do the same for a female coach.
  • Speaking of male” and female,” use these terms as sparingly as possible and only as adjectives (i.e., male coach). Specially, use women” instead of female” or females” whenever possible.
  • Don’t make assumptions about marital or family rela­tion­ships when it comes to age or gender. Partner” is more inclusive than husband” or wife” — same with parent” or guardian” instead of mother” or father.”
  • Avoid words that reinforce racial, ethnic or religious stereotypes (even if they appear to be positive).
  • Ask people how they identify themselves and be aware of the com­plex­i­ties within racial, ethnic and religious identities.
  • When referring to someone’s race or ethnicity, use adjectives, not nouns (e.g., a Hispanic person,” not a Hispanic”). 
  • Capitalize words that refer to a recognized group with a shared racial, ethnic and cultural identity (e.g., Black,” Indigenous,” Latino,” Asian,” etc.). We do not capitalize white,” as that racial group doesn’t have a shared ethnic and cultural identity. This is in alignment with AP Style, our house style guide. Read this article to learn more about that decision. 

Our diversity report shows Hudl employs more Caucasians than minorities.

Don't use Caucasian, use "white" instead.

Harris is the first Black athletic director in her district.

Do capitalize groups with a shared racial, ethnic and cultural identity.

  • Be precise about statistical findings, even when they’re positive. Relying on broad cat­e­go­riza­tions of people often over­sim­pli­fies findings and could be deceiving.
  • Be smart. Playful examples could get you in trouble—humor should never come at the cost of someone else.
Last Updated: 29 Jan 2021 at 4:00pm CST