Beijing withdraws advice on disabled
Olympic organizers said Thursday that they had withdrawn parts of an English translation of a guide for volunteers because of “inappropriate language” used to describe disabled athletes. Zhang Qiuping, director of the Paralympic Games in Beijing, did not offer an apology and attributed the problems to poor translation. “Probably it’s cultural difference and mistranslation,” Zhang said. The Chinese-language version of the text remained online and was nearly identical to the English, using essentially the same stereotypes to refer to the disabled. A section dedicated to the disabled says: “Paralympic athletes and disabled spectators are a special group. They have unique personalities and ways of thinking.”
To handle the “optically disabled,” the guide advised: “Often the optically disabled are introverted. They have deep and implicit feelings and seldom show strong emotions.” It added, “Try not to use the world ‘blind’ when you meet for the first time.”Regarding the “physically disabled,” the guide said: “Physically disabled people are often mentally healthy. But they might have unusual personalities because of disfigurement and disability.”It went on: “Some physically disabled are isolated, unsocial and introspective; they usually do not volunteer to contact people. They can be stubborn and controlling; they may be sensitive and struggle with trust issues. Sometimes they are overly protective of themselves, especially when they are called ‘crippled’ or ‘paralyzed.