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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Glossary

The conscious adoption of inclusive language demonstrates a commitment to the pursuit of equity and diversity, especially concerning the historically marginalized and excluded groups in society. This practice transcends semantics; it becomes a subtle but important tool for reshaping societal paradigms and fostering an environment where every individual's voice is heard and validated. Although language is an important consideration, it must also be accompanied by action. 



"Able-bodied" refers to someone without a disability. (See disability for a more comprehensive explanation to what "disability" refers.)

Additive Analysis of Oppression

This refers to the analysis of oppression that views identities as additive, rather than seeing the way that they interact. For example, a Black Deaf woman, using this analysis, would seem to experience the oppression from white supremacy as a Black person, from sexism as a woman, and ableism a Deaf person. 


"Anti-Racism" is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts. 


An acronym that means Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour.


Disability refers to any number of conditions, including physical conditions, such as deafness, blindness, or limitations in mobility, and intellectual, neurological, mental health, or neurodevelomental conditions.


Diversity refers to having or including people from a wide variety of communities, and different social and economic backgrounds. 


The word equity refers to fairness and justice, acknowledging that not everyone starts from the same place while tryin to reach a final goal. Compared to equality, which refers to providing the same amount of support for everyone, regardless of the existing disparities.


A complex social construction that is based on one's gender identity, gender expression, and culture. Seen often as a spectrum, not a dichotomy or linear spectrum.

Gender does not equal sex.


Homophobia is the prejudice, mistrust, and discomfort against the 2LGBTQIA+ community, leading to systematic discrimination. 

Identity-First Language

Identity-first language refers to a way of referring to someone with a disability using their identity as a disabled person first. For example, it is a common preference within the Deaf and autistic communities to prefer being referred to as either a Deaf person or an autistic person. 

Check with the people in question to see their personal preference. 

For a more nuanced explanation, see


Inclusion refers to the practice or policy of providing equal opportunities to those who might not have had access to resources and opportunities.


Refers to something being native to a certain area. In the context of Indigenous Peoples, it refers to those who are native to the land, and were there before it was colonized.

Intersectional Oppression

The concept of ‘intersectionality’ has been defined as “intersectional oppression [that] arises out of the combination of various oppressions which, together, produce something unique and distinct from any one form of discrimination standing alone....”

For example, a Black Deaf woman won't experience the same misogyny as a white able-bodied woman because of her other identities as Black and Deaf, nor will she experience the same racism as a Black man, even if they share many other identities. 


The hatred or prejudice against women and those perceived as women.


The systematic subjugation of one social group over another for the more powerful group's social, economic, political benefit.

Oppression = Power + Prejudice 

Person-First Language

Person first language refers to the way of referring to someone with a disability by putting "person" first, rather than the "disability". For example, a person with hearing loss, or a person with deafness. 

Check with the people in question to see their personal preference. 

For a more nuanced explanation, see

  • Racism = race prejudice + social and institutional power

  • Racism = a system of advantage based on race

  • Racism = a system of oppression based on race

  • Racism = a white supremacist system

Racism, compared to prejudice and discrimination, requires the power of one group to be able to bring into effect policies based on systematic discrimination, while enforcing and creating the cultural beliefs that support those policies. 


A system of oppression on the basis of sex, that benefits "male" people over "female" people, however this does not include the nuances of gender identity and gender presentation.


The prejudice, mistrust, and discomfort with people under the trans umbrella, including trans men, trans women, non-binary people, and Two Spirit people.

White Supremacy

The ideology that white people and their thoughts, beliefs, and actions are superior to those of BIPOC people. This can also refer to the political culture, or socio-economic system where white people benefit from this system both on an individual level and a systemic level.

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