Style Guide - Inclusive Language

Refer to individuals not as disabled but as a person with a disablity.
Do not refer to students at Stanstead College as having learning disabilities but learning differences or learning needs.

Aboriginal peoples
Aboriginal peoples and Indigenous peoples are collective terms describing people who identify themselves as First Nations, Inuit or Métis. When possible, identify by the specific First Nations community. Cree students, Mohawk culture

Use alumnus for a single male graduate, alumna for a single female graduate and alumni for the plural, regardless of gender. Do not use alumnae or alums.

Old boy should be used with discretion and only in the context of the period when Stanstead College was an all-boys school.

When possible, choose gender-neutral terms.
  • head of school not headmaster
  • chair not chairman
  • people not mankind
  • personnel not manpower
  • nurturing not mothering
  • to operate not to man
  • supervisor not foreman
  • postal worker not mailman
  • spokesperson not spokesman
Avoid referring to a female student as lady (a fine young lady). Instead, use young woman or girl. Exception: if this is a group’s preferred style. ladies auxiliary.

Avoid using the male as a gender-neutral pronoun, e.g. Each student must bring his laptop to class. Similarly, avoid awkward constructions of “he/she.” Instead, whenever possible, reconfigure the sentence to avoid the problem. All students must bring their laptops to class. When all else fails, he or she is preferred over he/she. Never use s/he. They may be used as a substitute for he or she in informal writing (Each student must bring their laptop.) but is not yet widely accepted in formal writing.

Gender identity
When referring to a person who does not self-identfy according to their birth sex (non-cisgender, non-binary), defer to the individual's preference, including their choice of personal pronoun (i.e. they, them).

When creating school forms, create fields identified as "Gender" to allow user to enter preference (as opposed to check boxes for M/F).

Further reading: Measures for openness to and support for trans and non-binary students (PDF)

Race and ethnicity
While Stanstead College is proud of its cultural diversity, reference to a person's race, colour, ethnicity should be made only if it is relevant to the topic at hand. Our Cree students gave a presentation on First Nations cultures. As Head of School for the Day, Hadley decreed that all Black students could sit at the head's table.

When possible, refer to specific nationalities of students rather than geographic origins. Supper was prepared by our students from Japan, China and South Korea, not Supper was prepared by our Asian students. 

Capitalize "Black" when referencing race.