First Monday

Handicapped has been cancelled: The terminology and logics of disability in cultural heritage institutions by Brian M. Watson and Beck Schaefer



Abstract
This paper originated from a collaborative effort between an academic and archivist and a cataloger to address the issues around the LCSH heading “Social disabilities.” In it, we examine various aspects and consequences resulting from the ways that galleries, libraries, archives, museums, and special collections (GLAMS) organize knowledge about disability and disabled users. We do this primarily through the lens of documentary analysis of cataloging and classification systems as this process, elsewhere called “the power to name” (Olson, 2002), as it is the basis for the operation of GLAMS. First, we will provide an outline and contextual information about the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), the largest and most influential subject heading vocabulary system in the world. Next, we will examine the discourse around disability in library and information science via the results of a literature review. Next, we will examine the history, transformations, use, and meaning behind the LCSH heading “Social disabilities,” as an example of breakdown in terminology. Finally, and unique to the literature, we will propose an alternative hierarchy of terms for the Persons hierarchy in LCSH and discuss other methods that catalogers may use for organizing holdings about disability.

Contents

Introduction
Background context
Literature review
What does LC mean by “social disabilities”?
Breakdown in terminology
Consequences past, present & future

 


 

Introduction

On Wednesday, 14 November 2001, the Library of Congress released its weekly list of changed and new Library of Congress Subject Headings. This particular week, the list was devoted to updates to headings that included the word “handicapped.” An explanatory note at the bottom of the list reads:

The two headings “Handicapped” and “Physically handicapped” have now been replaced by the single heading “People with disabilities.” Other headings that include the word “handicapped” were changed in a similar way. These changes are in accord with terminology used in the Americans with Disabilities Act and approved for use by the governments of major English-speaking countries worldwide, as well as with the principle of “putting people first,” which is advocated by most organizations and individuals with an interest in disability issues. (Library of Congress, 2001).

While the rationale given for the change is largely true, there is one heading that clearly does not belong, and was not present in any contemporary or governmental literature that the authors of this paper have been able to find: People with social disabilities [1].

Additionally, given that over the course of the past few decades, disabled people have strongly advocated for the use of “disabled people” and not “people with disabilities,” it is concerning that older language continues to be used. This is not a one-term or a one-community problem. In fact, in its near-sesquicentennial lifetime, the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) have developed quite a few problems, ranging from its classification of women as secondary (“Women as President”) to its collation of homosexuality as a mental illness alongside crime and sexual disorders, prostitution and pornography, disorders of the character, rapists, seducers, and perversions. The problem that we refer to here, and will be reflecting on in what follows, exists in every single academic library throughout the United States, and — via postwar standardization and mass media hegemony — libraries across the world. But it is only viewable from the actual library stacks [2].

Go ahead and find them, or check to see if your library has an online shelflisting. Find the section of the library labelled “H, Social Sciences” and look for the start of Subclass “HV, Social pathology. [3] Social and public welfare. Criminology” and then “HV675, Accidents. Prevention of accidents.” In Indiana University Bloomington’s Herman B. Wells Library (which has a well-designed online shelflisting) H675 begins with HV675.A1 A3 v.1, and begins with a series of journals titled Accident analysis and prevention [4]. The following titles include more from this category (Child safety is no accident: A parents’ handbook of emergencies, 1975; The Third chapter of accidents and remarkable events: Containing caution and instruction for children, 1807) but it is no accident that we have brought you here. Depending on the size of your library, look down, to your right, or around the corner for HV3174. In the case of Indiana University Bloomington, we walk past half-dozen shelves on a variety of topics (children with disabilities, developmentally disabled, terminally-ill incurables) to HV3174.A772 A78 1990, a book titled Artist-help: The artist’s guide to work-related human and social services (1990) by Joan Jeffri [5]. Betwixt these two titles is the entirety of the disabled experience and universe reduced to square footage.

The point of this exercise is to demonstrate what classification means in cultural heritage institutions (also known as GLAMS; Galleries, libraries, archives, museums, and special collections). To explain, we will stick with our library-specific scenario for a moment longer: when an institution receives a new item (in this example, a book), there are two steps that must be taken (to grossly oversimplify). First, the book must be cataloged, meaning that it is assigned a subject heading such as Accidents--Prevention--Periodicals (in the case of the Accident journals), or multiple headings such as Artists--Services for--United States--Directories and Federal aid to the arts--United States--Directories (Jeffri). This requires the judgment of a cataloger, who also records other metadata, such as author and publication date into a record. This record is added into the catalog so a library user can search for it. The second step is classification, which is the process of placing items in “related” groups on a shelf, which makes finding and retrieving it easier. Variations on this process are repeated in other GLAMS. Classification — the object’s physical location — is determined by cataloging, but classification systems like Library of Congress Classification, or Dewey Decimal Classification, are developed (usually) by large information organizations, such as national libraries.

In what follows, we examine various aspects and consequences resulting from the ways that GLAMS organize knowledge about disability, disabled people [6]. We do this primarily through the lens of documentary analysis of cataloging and classification systems. This process, elsewhere called “the power to name” (Olson, 2002), is one of the major foundations of the organization and operation of cultural heritage institutions (and the cultures whose heritage they document and preserve). First, in “Background context” we will provide an outline and contextual information about the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), the largest and most influential subject heading vocabulary system in the world. Second, we will review the library and information science (LIS) literature related to the cataloging and classification on or about disabled or Crip users, before focusing our attention on the phrase People with social disabilities as it is used in LCSH. Based on the history, transformations, and use of the term by the Library of Congress, we determine that the term was created as a replacement for the term “Poor [people]” and, is currently used to mean something like “socioeconomically marginalized people.” In “What does LC mean by “social disabilities”?” and the following two sections we examine the history of how this awkward phrase (“people with social disabilities”) came to be, and how it is demonstrative of longstanding classist, ableist, and racist assumptions built into the Library of Congress Classification. In the final third of the paper, we turn to consequences (technical, epistemic, and moral) and, unique to the literature, we will propose a partial solution via an alternative hierarchy of terms for Persons in LCSH.

This paper originates from a collaborative effort between a library cataloger and an academic and archivist to address the issues around the use of the phrase “social disabilities” in LCSH. We aim the discussion below at a more general audience that may not be as familiar with cataloging and classification. Those familiar may want to skip ahead to the discussion under the heading “The category of ‘social disabilities’”. Finally, it is worth pointing out that issues around cataloging and classification is not a one-community or one-issue problem: current terms describing marginalized groups in GLAMS’ catalogs have been described as inaccurate, inappropriate, misleading, or outright offensive. Nor is it a minor one: for example, information about illnesses and resources for disabled people can be literally lifesaving for patrons. However, if resources are under- or inaccurately described and/or mis- or poorly translated, then the person who needs the information the most will never discover it. As minority stress research (Velez, et al., 2013) has demonstrated, improper description and language has a measurable health impact: encountering feedback from society that is incompatible with one’s self-identity increases the likelihood that individuals will experience symptoms such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and suicidal ideation.

 

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Background context

Controlled vocabularies

Although usually associated by the public with abandoned card catalogs or outdated research methods, subject headings and controlled vocabularies were among one of the most powerful information innovations of the last century. Their near-universal adoption as a cataloging and classification method by GLAMS catalogers around the world permitted the organization and control of a seemingly endless proliferation of information resources over the course of the twentieth century. In this paper we will use “cataloger” as a stand-in term for workers in GLAMS who are responsible for providing descriptions of resources (books, archives, paintings, digital resources, etc.) for use by members of the public (via finding aids, labels, catalogs, etc.). Catalogers often use a controlled vocabulary that includes authorized headings they can assign to works. The authorized heading is a preferred form of a term; other forms are considered variants. Following cataloger conventions, throughout this paper, authorized headings are displayed in bold and variants are shown in italics. If the cataloger encounters a book using a variant term, they’ll use the authorized heading instead. For example, a book about contract law would be assigned the heading Contracts since Contract law is a variant of Contracts. A subject search for the phrase “contract law” in an online catalog or discovery layer [7] will return records that have been assigned the heading Contracts since the variant is linked to the authorized heading in an authority record.

In addition to linking variant terms and authorized terms, authority records contain broader and narrower terms that situate the heading within a hierarchy, as well as related terms. Some authority records include scope notes that provide guidance on when to use a particular heading, usually in reference to a similar heading. They also contain a source data note which provides evidence that the form chosen as the authorized heading has been used in at least one published resource. The source data includes a brief citation and may also show variations in the term as well as any explanatory notes. Here’s an example of an authority record showing all these features. The authorized heading (Insanity (Law)) is followed by a scope note, variant terms (Insanity (Law)) is the heading to be used instead of these), a broader and related term, and finally a note on the source of the term. (Subject authority record for Insanity (Law), 2008) This record only shows a source for the variant term, more recent records have fuller source data.

 

Insanity (Law)
Here are entered works on the legal standard whereby persons with severe mental disorders are prevented from having legal capacity and are excused from criminal or civil responsibility.
 Variants 
 Criminal insanity
 Insanity
 Insanity (Jurisprudence)
 Lunacy (Law)
 Mental illness--Law and legislation
 Mentally ill--Legal status, laws, etc.
 Broader term 
 Capacity and disability
 Related terms 
 Insanity defense
 Sources 
 Found: Nolo.com Web site, 24 May 2007 (criminal insanity: a mental defect or disease that makes it impossible for a person to understand the wrongfulness of his acts ...)
[and two other sources]

 

The Library of Congress subject headings

Presently, the most commonly used controlled vocabulary in GLAMS are the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), first printed 1909–14 (Chan and Salaba, 2016; Joudrey, et al., 2015; O’Neill and Chan, 2003). They are used to describe at least 130 million items in the United States, (Stone, 2000) and even more worldwide (via translation and modification). They are also used nearly universally in digital contexts, as the first Digital Library Initiative (funded by the United States’ National Science Foundation) decided to use LCSH as the default method for metadata organization and retrieval (Colati, et al., 2009; Walsh, 2011). In addition to the near-universality of LCSH as a controlled vocabulary, many libraries opt to reuse records created by the Library of Congress (LC) so the subject headings that reflect LC’s interpretation of what the book is about become widespread.

LCSH terminology describing marginalized groups have been criticized as inappropriate, misleading or outrightly offensive (Adler, 2017; Baucom, 2018; Berman, 1993; Bone and Lougheed, 2018; Canadian Federation of Library Associations, 2016; Gough and Greenblatt, 1990; Long, et al., 2017; McKemmish, et al., 2020; Olson, 2002; Rawson, 2009; Roberto, 2008), but unfortunately still remain essential for users and access systems (Gross, et al., 2015). Meanwhile, catalogers and other knowledge workers have attempted to rectify present-day harms through redescription and remediation, but their corrections often originate from dominant positions and, as such, can sometimes do more harm than good. For example, the update of Handicapped people to People with disabilities in LCSH is a wording strongly rejected by many disability activists because it “separates” the person from their disability (for example, Ladau, 2015), but is preferred by other people with disabilities and tends to be used in legislation. Although several stopgaps have been proposed, such as the use of folksonomies or social tagging (discussed further below) they have failed to gain widespread acceptance.

How LCSH are created

Originally, headings were created exclusively by the Library Congress but since the 1980s catalogers outside of LC can also contribute headings via the Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO) (Schiff, 2007). Theoretically, LCSH are created based on the principle of literary warrant. LC instructs catalogers to formally establish headings when they first encounter a concept not covered by an existing heading. For example, a cataloger encountering Alison Kafer’s (2013) book Feminist, queer, crip could realize the conceptual gap between “crip” and the heading People with disabilities and submit a proposal for the heading “Crip” to the Library of Congress. Proposals can also be submitted to change existing headings (e.g., a proposal to replace People with disabilitiess with “Crip people” or similar). Once a month, LC assesses proposals based on the usage of the term and conformity to the style guidance in their Subject Headings Manual. Proposals require significant expertise and time. When these factors are combined with LC’s high standard of proof and conservatism, it amounts to a level of gatekeeping that reinforces the status quo, preserving outdated, historical and/or harmful terminology. As a representative example, the word “primitive” to refer to Indigenous nations was rejected by anthropologists by the mid-twentieth century and in 1983 the American Library Association recommended its removal from LCSH (Berman, 1993). However, changes to the relevant subject headings only LCSH began in the mid-1990s [8] and are ongoing as of this writing (Library of Congress, 2022a). A cataloger’s institution may also allow the use of uncontrolled cataloger-supplied subject terminology. Furthermore, many libraries supplement LCSH with more specialized vocabularies with different mechanisms for adding subject terms. While literary warrant is a useful concept from a pragmatic standpoint, it is not unproblematic, perhaps demonstrated by the lack of the term “Crip” in LCSH. The term Cripples appears only as a variant (discarded) form of the current heading People with disabilities. Additionally, early terms for concepts are not necessarily the ones that have staying power. In the case of disability, works about disabled people, usually by non-disabled social reformers and doctors, preceded works by disabled people thus perpetuating a certain view of disability.

 

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Literature review

To find relevant LIS material related to the ethical and/or equitable cataloging and classification about disability and research on or about disabled or Crip users we undertook a literature review and analysis. First, we conducted Google Scholar keyword and Boolean searches, and then validated these results by repeating the same queries in several LIS-specific databases and comparing the results. Results of these queries included resources in French, Spanish, and several other languages. In order to properly evaluate the articles, we limited our review and the resulting database to English-language resources. The databases consulted were Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA); Library Literature and Information Science Retrospective: 1905–1983 (LLISR); Library and Information Science Source (LISS); and Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts (LISTA). In reviewing the results, we found that LISA provided the most relevant results; Google Scholar the greatest quantity; LISTA the highest quality; and LLISR provided only sporadic hits.

Finally, we consulted several reading lists and bibliographies that focused on ethical, equitable, or critical cataloging (American University. Information Literacy Committee, n.d.; Cook, 2020; CritLib.org, 2020; Snow, 2020; University of Cambridge Library, 2019) along with the citation lists of previously-conducted reviews (Desale and Kumbhar, 2013; Diao, 2018; Dunsire, 2018; Fagan, 2010; Gardner, 2012; Hudon, 2011, 2010; Kathuria, 2011; Kazuye Kimura, 2018; Martin, 2021; Satija and Martinez-Avila, 2017; Skinner, 2014; Speller, 2007; Starr Paiste, 2003; B.L. Velez, et al., 2013; L. Velez and Villa-Nicholas, 2017; Williams, 1997). The results of these queries were added to an open-source and open access Zotero database available at https://CritCat.org (Watson, 2021) and via the main Zotero Web site (Watson, 2021), and additional resources described below will be added after the publication of this paper. Additionally, we consulted Gibson, Bowen and Hanson’s (2021) review, Hill’s (2013) content analysis, and Davies’ (2007) overview.

These queries may have suffered due the current lack of resources, as Brunskill’s (2021) recent comprehensive review of disability studies in databases demonstrates. Brunskill concludes disability studies research suffers from poor databases:

There are currently no databases dedicated to indexing the research literature for disability studies ... Notable disconnects were found between frequently recommended databases and those with substantial indexing of disability studies journals. Challenges for research in this field were also encountered and documented, including inadequate indexing, particularly for open access journals. [9]

Indeed, our queries for “disabled”, “disability”, or “crip” along with “catalog” and “library”, or “finding aid” and “archive(s)” returned hundreds of articles giving a (false) first impression of a decades-old engaging and lively conversation. Unfortunately, when these articles were reviewed, it quickly became apparent that most of them have little to do with terminology preferred by disabled users or subject vocabulary. Instead, nearly all literature is discussion among seemingly-abled librarians or archivists about how to make libraries, archives, public access catalogs, or finding aids accessible to disabled people — here meaning Deafblind, B/blind, low/limited-vision, wheelchair users, and/others.

Other reviews of disability in LIS, including Davies’ (2007) overview, Hill’s (2013) content analysis, and Gibson, Bowen and Hanson’s (2021) ‘quasi-systematic’ review align with this impression. By and large, this research consists mainly of “practitioner-centered expositions of how people with disabilities operate within library spaces, challenges encountered, and interventions’ and Hill observed that authors wrote “from a non-disabled viewpoint, gave minimal consideration to intervening social or attitudinal factors, and offered guidance largely lacking empirical support” (Gibson, et al., 2021). All three analyses recommend further research, especially critical research that deliberately includes disabled subjects: Davies (2007) urged the collection of new quantitative data; Hill (2017) expanded this call to include qualitative research, and also encouraged stronger inclusion of disabled participants; Gibson, Bowen and Hanson (2021) proffer a “hierarchy of credibility” framework for the evaluation of research on disabled people in LIS.

In recent years, several disabled LIS scholars have published on disability in their profession(s). In the archival field, this has largely centered on the work of Gracen Brilmyer (2021, 2020a; 2020b, 2018a, 2018b; Brilmyer, et al., 2019). Notable library-focused works include Jessica Schomberg’s articles (2018, 2014) directly aimed at “improving the working conditions of library employees with disabilities” [10], and a pair of autoethnographies by Hollich (2020) on “What it means for a disabled librarian to ‘pass’”, and Tumlin’s (2019) article on “The lack of neurodiversity awareness in librarianship”. The authors of this article expect this volume of essays will continue this expansion and that this article be read alongside Rosen’s (in this special issue). We would also suggest that literature by non-disabled authors is easier to spot due to the use of awkward and uncomfortable wording and borderline or outrightly offensive terminology when discussing disability. The most unique euphemism was perhaps “differently-abled” (Copeland, 2011), but articles also use “Disadvantaged” (Chiang, 1994), “users of special services” (Nelson, 1996), and other terms. We suspect that these titles and descriptions are a symptom of the fact that there currently exists no appropriate disability subject cataloging vocabulary or nomenclature recommendations aside from a couple government-developed glossaries (Disabled People’s Association of Singapore, 2015; National Center on Disability and Journalism, 2018). Therefore, this review will now turn to the extant research on disability, subject headings, and critical cataloging.

Carolyn Sullivan (2021) has taken the most comprehensive look at controlled vocabularies in her examination of the second (1919), eighth (1975) and forty-second (2020) editions of LCSH, and the authors of the paper strongly recommend her discussion for interested readers. Sullivan finds that the closest heading to the broad concept of disability in earlier editions of LCSH is Defective and delinquent classes (2021) and notes that the headings LC identified as related terms referred either to specific disabilities or to concepts associated with crime, morality, and marginalization. Sullivan points out that LCSH emerged within a Victorian context emphasizing beliefs “in the correspondence of morality with participation in the labor force and genetic fitness (i.e., conformity to physical and psychological norms)” [11]. These beliefs were related to the eugenics movement which is supported by LC’s “numerous linkages between disability and eugenics” [12]. We agree with Sullivan’s assertion that these terms are reflective of the historical practices towards and stereotypes about disabled people of the time.

Although many librarians over the years have proposed and/or undertaken revisions to the Library of Congress subject headings, the first significant external critique of LCSH’s terms seem to originate from Sanford “Sandy” Berman’s (1971) book Prejudices and antipathies: A tract on the LC subject heads concerning people. Berman, perhaps the best-known “radical” cataloger, began his campaign after the experience of working in Zambia as a librarian, where he was told that a term present in LCSH as a “neutral” descriptor was considered a particularly racist slur in Zambia. The result of his investigation was the Tract, a full-fledged attack on the racist, sexist, ableist, and Eurocentric nature of the headings. By 2012, Berman’s personal LCSH “scorecard” documented (Berman, 2017) nearly 100 accepted revisions or proposals alongside over 200 that the Library of Congress had rejected or not yet acted upon. Berman’s work, along with that of the Poor People’s Campaign and the ALA’s Task Force on Gay Liberation, provided the initial documentation of LC’s “insidious labeling processes” began a continuous tradition of librarians and catalogers re-reading of subject terms with an eye toward revision, with varying levels of success (Adler, 2012; Berman, 1981; Berman and Gross, 2017). It also undoubtedly contributed to the founding of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) in 1992, as well as LC’s Policy and Standards Division which effectively institutionalized a process previously conducted via public petition and political remonstrance.

In Prejudices and antipathies: A tract on the LC subject heads concerning people, Berman (1971) pointed to terms such as Deaf authors or Deaf as athletes as bizarre because “there are no intelligent grounds for assuming that deafness per se is likely to blunt one’s literary or creative potential ... [or that they] cannot be expected to run, jump, or swim as well as anyone else” [13]. It is important to acknowledge that Berman was not a disability-rights scholar, and that some of his suggestions were reflective of terminology at the time (i.e., the replacement of Idiocy with the World Health Organization’s use of “mild, moderate, and severe subnormality” [14], and, as Sullivan points out, “unremarked are the numerous linkages between disability and eugenics” [15] in Berman’s Tract.

A pair of insightful articles by Amelia Koford (2017, 2014) examine how subject headings, especially ableist or discriminatory ones impacts disability studies scholars in their research, and found that many had negative reactions, ignored headings, or used specialized databases — a troubling indicator given Brunskill’s study above. Koford concludes that knowledge organizers should consult with affected individuals and subject experts when “making decisions about index terms in domains that are unfamiliar to them ... [for example] participants indicated that index terms like Disabled people and Hearing impaired communicate a particular perspective and, in some cases, can be read as offensive or insensitive” [16]. Koford’s (2017) follow-up study with author Eli Clare offers a fascinating conversation into one author’s “dismayed by and detached” reaction to and critique of the headings assigned to their work and proposes that libraries should consider the use of local headings or the use of tags from sources such as LibraryThing, a common suggestion.

Indeed, there are several articles dating mostly from the aughts that propose the use of social tagging (also known as folksonomies) to replace traditional cataloging. An explanation and further exploration of folksonomies is beyond the scope or topic of this paper, but those that focus specifically on disability are well-represented by Adler, Huber, and Nix’s 2017 summarization covering the dismal state of cataloging and classification terminology for disabled topics in multiple controlled vocabularies (they examine the National Library of Medicine’s Medical Subject Headings, Library of Congress Classification and Subject Headings, and the Dewey Decimal Classification). Elsewhere, Adler (2017, 2009) suggests drawing from folksonomies on Web sites such as LibraryThing. More recent literature has suggested the possibility of creating LCSH for disability topics from other sources. Chelsea Fay Baumgartner (2019) recommends drawing terminology from tags used on the fan fiction Web site Archive of Our Own, a resource that Mackenzie Johnson and Carlie Forsythe (2019) also suggest, along with terminology sourced from the Steam computer game client.

There is no literature on “social disabilities,” likely because it is an invention of the Library of Congress. Therefore, in the next section we will “interrogate” the term People with social disabilities using documentary evidence, including library catalogs, cataloging manuals, and other material (Bowen, 2009; Hodder, 1994; Shenton, 2013; Wildemuth, 2009) and trace ethnography (Acker, et al., 2015; Geiger and Ribes, 2011; Marsh, 2016; Mayernik and Acker, 2018). Exploring the term in this way illustrates systematic, historical, and societal problems with the understanding, cataloging and classification of disability as a whole. Disabled identities are irrevocably and inextricably tied up with other intersectional (Crenshaw, 1991) ones. People with social disabilities inherits a sexist, racist, and ableist logic in its origination as Socially handicapped. The term “handicap” originates from a game of chance known as “hand-in-cap”, but evolved into a euphemism for those “handicapped” by the “race” of life, as Baynton (2001) demonstrates. Carmody (2015) convincingly argues that the term was deliberately expanded to include such things as “racial handicaps,” and brought

“disabled ways of knowing to bear on the ideology ofan era that equated progress with economic participation and modeled racial uplift on disability rehabilitation [thereby] challeng[ing] the rehabilitationist ethos of Bookerite philosophy by interrogating the temporality of social accommodation.” [17]

In the next section we narrow our focus to the term “social disability” and consider its various iterations and intentions. A final note of caution: despite how terms for disabled people have been historically, and contemporaneously reductionist we believe that they should be considered in their complexity, not their reduction.

 

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What does LC mean by “social disabilities”?

In the current version of LCSH (Library of Congress, 2022b) disabled people are classed as a separate category of existence and personhood from persons broadly.

The current begins with Persons (Subject authority record for Persons, 2005):

 

Persons 
Narrower Terms 
 ...Paramours
 Patients
 People with disabilities
 Personal shoppers
 Persons displaced by eminent domain...

 

People with disabilities (Subject authority record for People with disabilities, 2003) is further subdivided into 95 different terms ranging from Alaska Natives with disabilities, Siblings of people with disabilities, Deafblind people, Hearing impaired, Laryngectomees, Ostomates, Paralytics, and more, including People with social disabilities. The subject authority record for People with social disabilities (2001) includes the following:

 

Narrower Terms 
 Business enterprises owned by people with social disabilities
 Children with social disabilities
 Church work with people with social disabilities
 Classification--Books--People with social disabilities
 Libraries and people with social disabilities
 Libraries--Special collections--People with social disabilities
 Social work with people with social disabilities
 Students with social disabilities
 Teenagers with social disabilities
 Women with social disabilities
 Youth with social disabilities
 
Related Terms 
 Marginality, Social

 

Usually, the meaning of a subject heading is evident from the term LC has chosen to use. Since the meaning of the phrase “social disabilities” is not clear, we can examine the authority record to try to discern LC’s intended meaning. The authority record may provide variant terms and should situate the heading within a hierarchy. It may also include related terms. There should be a citation for the source in which the term was found although many older authority records lack this source data. If we’re lucky there will be a scope note with instructions on how to use the heading. Let’s look at the authority record for the subject heading People with social disabilities since it’s the most general term using the phrase “social disabilities”. The record doesn’t include source data or a scope note so we’re left to rely on the variants and broader, narrower, and related terms (Subject authority record for People with social disabilities, 2001).

The variant terms listed are:

 

Culturally deprived people
Culturally disadvantaged people
People with cultural disabilities
Socially disadvantaged people
Socially handicapped (the earlier form of the heading)
Underprivileged people

 

These terms identify concepts of lack (deprived, disadvantaged and underprivileged) in the social or cultural realm. One clear meaning for this heading is “people experiencing social inequity.” The variants also suggest that it could be applied to works about people who lack access to culture, although what is meant by that is not entirely evident given the breadth of meaning of the word culture.

Another source of meaning within an authority record is the broader and narrower terms which situate the heading within LC’s hierarchy of specificity. The authority record provides a single broader term: People with disabilities. This broader term is inconsistent with the variant terms just examined. While disability is sometimes a factor in socioeconomic marginalization, disabled people are not always socioeconomically marginalized, nor are all socioeconomically marginalized people disabled. Seeing that the variant term Socially handicapped was an earlier form of the heading suggests that this was a simple replacement of the concept of handicap with the concept of disability. The phrase “socially handicapped” is more consistent with the other variant headings than it is with ideas of disability. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a handicap is “anything or circumstance which makes progress or success difficult; an encumbrance, a hindrance” or “a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities ... disability is the term now generally preferred.” (Oxford University Press, 2022) Other than being a narrower term of the heading People with disabilities, People with social disabilities is not related to any other disability-related headings.

Socioeconomic marginalization or inequity fits the first definition of handicap (a circumstance making success difficult) rather than the second (a physical or mental condition) so the replacement of “handicap” with “disability” changed the meaning in this case. There are 11 narrower terms, some are for more specific groups of “people with social disabilities” (e.g., children), others are about services for “people with social disabilities.” The remainder relate to libraries or business enterprises. None of these provide insight into the meaning of the phrase “social disabilities”.

The record identifies Marginality, Social as a related term. LC establishes related terms for “persons and their field of endeavor” when the two terms are not linguistically similar. For example, Physicians and Medicine are related terms (Library of Congress, 2020). While disability and social marginality aren’t exactly “fields of endeavor”, the principle of linking a group of people with a common, defining characteristic is relevant. So by this logic, “people with social disabilities” are those who experience social marginality. The authority record for People with disabilities shows that Disabilities is a related term (Subject authority record for People with disabilities, 2003): “people with disabilities” are those who have disabilities. Based on the variants and the related term, it is fair to conclude that the heading People with social disabilities is intended to be used for works about people experiencing socioeconomic marginalization or inequity.

How did it come to be created?

The earliest use of a subject heading with the phrase “social disabilities” is in a record created in 1930. While that particular heading wouldn’t have been used in 1930, we know that the current heading replaces Socially handicapped which may in turn be a replacement of an older heading. The work in question is The malavites, a study of social disadvantage: Its causes and consequences by Warner Ensign Gettys. (Bibliographic record for The malavites, [1930?]) The bibliographic record identifies it as a 10-page abstract of a Ph.D. thesis and notes that Gettys defined malavites as “groups of persons that are ‘living badly’”. The assigned subject headings are People with social disabilities--Ohio and Ohio--Social conditions.

We can turn to the National Union Catalog to find out how The malavites was first cataloged. It shows that the original bibliographic record had the headings Defective and delinquent classes--Ohio and Ohio--Soc. Condit. [18]. From this we can conclude that at some point Socially handicapped replaced Defective and delinquent classes.

“Defective” and “delinquent” were lumped together in one heading because they were understood to be very closely linked. The word “defective” was widely understood to be referring to disability by the beginning of the twentieth century and conveyed a sense that disabled people were “social and eugenic threats to progress” [19]. A concept closely related to defectiveness was “degeneracy”, the idea that “defects” were hereditary and would increase in severity in subsequent generations. Degeneracy was believed to be the cause of “crime, pauperism, sexual immorality, violence, and indeed most of the social problems of the day” [20]. Defects caused delinquency, and the presence of delinquency was an indicator of defectiveness. The term “defective” was strongly linked to the eugenic movement and its usage dropped significantly in the post-World War II period due to an awareness of the Nazi use of eugenics (Linker, 2013). LC eventually acknowledged that the term “defective” was no longer acceptable and by the eighth edition of LCSH in 1975 Defective and delinquent classes was no longer an authorized heading. Catalogers were directed to use Handicapped and/or Delinquents instead. Socially handicapped also shows up in the eighth edition as a narrower term of Handicapped (Library of Congress. Subject Cataloging Division, 1975). This change reflected a shift in society’s understanding of disability: it had become recognized as a distinct category, separate from criminality, immorality, and poverty.

Although we can confirm that the headings Handicapped, Delinquents, and Socially handicapped were in use in 1975, the change likely occurred in the previous (1966) edition. Unfortunately, online access to the 1966 (seventh) and 1957 (sixth) editions of LCSH is limited seeing the number of times a search term appears. Even though we can’t know how the search terms are used, comparing the numbers for the sixth and seventh editions is informative. The phrase “socially handicapped” returns no results in a search of the sixth edition but four results in a search of the seventh edition. Clearly, this was a new heading in 1966. The phrase “defective and delinquent classes” shows up 19 times in the sixth edition but only three in the seventh edition. Conversely, “handicapped” shows up four times in the sixth edition but 56 times in the seventh edition (Library of Congress Subject Cataloging Division and M.V. Quattlebaum, 1966, 1957). This strongly suggests that the replacement of Defective and delinquent classes with Handicapped and Delinquents occurred in 1966.

Given early twentieth century ideologies that both marginalized disabled people and valorized economic self-sufficiency and earning potential [21], it is likely that some books classed as being about Defective and delinquent classes were about neither “delinquents” nor “the handicapped” but rather people marginalized due to other social or economic factors. This should have led to the creation of a third heading to accompany Handicapped and Delinquents but LC either considered socio-economically marginalized people to be a sub-group of “the handicapped” or, more likely, did not consider them at all.

The choice of the phrase “socially handicapped” is puzzling. The variant terms given in the 1975 edition of LCSH are Culturally deprived, Culturally disadvantaged, Culturally handicapped, and Underprivileged. Since these are variant terms, they were likely in common use at the time. A search of these terms in titles published between 1957 and 1966 in English shows that “culturally deprived” and “culturally disadvantaged” were the most common with 11 hits each. “Underprivileged” had six hits and “culturally handicapped” had none. “Socially handicapped” had only one hit. It is possible that LC was looking for a term that included the word handicapped and of the two phrases containing that word, they had evidence that “socially handicapped” had literary warrant.

In LC’s weekly list of new subject headings of 14 November 2001, it introduced the heading People with disabilities to replace the headings Handicapped and Physically handicapped. LC cites as its sources for the new heading the Americans with Disabilities Act and a supposed preference for person first language among “most organizations and individuals with an interest in disability issues.” The only information in the weekly list applicable to the phrase “social disabilities” is the following sentence: “Other headings that include the word ‘handicapped’ were changed in a similar way.” (Library of Congress, 2001) While the “social disabilities” headings similarly use person first language, the phrase “social disabilities” is not similarly found in the Americans with Disabilities Act [22]. One must conclude that this particular change was merely the replacement of the word “handicapped” with the word “disabilities”.

 

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Breakdown in terminology

As terminology about disability changed over the past century, the terminology used with LCSH also changed. However, the LCSH changes resulted in the creation of a new and peculiar category not found in general usage: “social disabilities”. On further examination, this breakdown in terminology echoes the eugenicist ideology responsible for the earlier but now discarded heading “Defective and delinquent classes”. This ideology lumped together disabled people and socioeconomically marginalized people based on the idea that neither group could produce economic value (Baynton, 2016). The process of changing the heading in LCSH reflects a disregard for both disabled people and socioeconomically marginalized people combined with the neoliberal ethos faced by the Library of Congress.

The first sign of disregard for disabled people is the delay in changing the term from handicapped to disabled. LC made the change in 2001, a full 11 years after the U.S. government used the term “disabilities” in the title of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This delay indicates that replacing the term “handicapped” with “disabled” was not a priority for LC. The second sign of disregard is LC’s use of the phrase “organizations and individuals with an interest in disability issues” in the announcement of the subject heading changes. The phrase notably does not refer to disabled people. Are these “individuals with an interest in disability issues” themselves disabled? To what degree do disabled people participate and hold power in these “organizations with an interest in disability issues”? While this wording may be an indirect admission by LC that they did not consider the opinions of disabled people it’s also possible that LC used the phrase “interested in disability issues” as a euphemism for “disabled”. Euphemisms are a form of linguistic disregard, both that a term is not mentioned and that it is considered unmentionable.

While we don’t know the details of the discussions at LC’s editorial meeting covering the replacement of “handicap” with “disability”, we do know that LC ultimately decided to use the phrase “social disabilities” as a replacement for “socially handicapped”. This may be because no one in the meeting questioned the meaning or appropriateness of either phrase. Alternatively, if the decision was questioned, the remaining interpretations are 1) the editorial board decided that disability and socioeconomic marginalization are equivalent; or 2) they decided that a new heading for the concept of socioeconomically marginalized people would have necessitated a major reorganization of the hierarchies and considered the revisions necessary to develop an accurate representation of those two groups too resource-intensive and not worth the effort. The aforementioned delay in updating the headings and LC’s decision to use “social disabilities” suggests a lack of the necessary financial resources required to allow staff to properly maintain LCSH. Admittedly, in the current capitalist context, profit is prioritized and because libraries do not generate profit, they rarely have access to sufficient resources. This is not to excuse LC but rather to demonstrate how capitalist ideas that tying human value to economic potential persist and continue to negatively affect disabled people.

Either way, the decision demonstrates a disregard or carelessness for both disabled people and socioeconomically marginalized people and is an example of systemic and institutional terminological breakdown — an example of what Carbarjal and Caswell (2021) call historical debt and Hannah Turner (2020) describe as data legacies. This breakdown in terminology also has material impacts socioeconomically marginalized people by pulling texts and information useful to those users into totally unrelated parts of the library. A discussion of how LCSH categorizes socioeconomic marginalization and the consequences of these categorizations is beyond the scope of this paper, but we encourage further research and subject heading activism on topics such poverty, lack of citizenship, and involvement with the legal system.

 

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Consequences past, present & future

Consequences of the current hierarchy of disability

Although the original WHO classifications, as well as LCSH’s inclusion likely had “good” intentions, both represent anachronisms from a time where able (non-disabled) people spoke for and about disabled people without their participation. The policies developed by the WHO and governments in these meetings were deeply harmful (and in some cases lethal) to disabled people. The phrase “nothing about us without us,” originates from the disability rights struggle organized around this time. Indeed, this phrase has titled a number of books (e.g., Charlton’s [2000] Nothing about us without us: Disability oppression and empowerment, Werner’s (1998) Nothing about us without us: Developing innovative technologies for, by and with disabled persons, and many more). These books are more often assigned People with disabilities--Civil rights or People with disabilities--Social conditions subject headings.

Currently, LCSH makes a false equivalency between those marginalized by their disability and those marginalized by their social inequalities. While disabled people are often also additionally socially disadvantaged (through systems that deny jobs, housing, and healthcare), conflating social ‘disabilities’ with disability risks erasing the history and ongoing oppression that is unique to disabled communities. For example, disabled people have unique histories of being policed, forcibly institutionalized, and sterilized [23]. These are histories that overlap and inform other histories of eugenics and exclusion, but yet are not the same as other socially oppressed communities. Furthermore, equating disability with social marginalization risks reinforcing disability as an identity based only in hardship that needs to be eliminated or overcome, instead of an identity that is based in pride and community as it is often understood by disabled people today. Finally, the use of “social disabilities” mis-categorizes and misrepresents the literature for activists, scholars, and users that use “social disabilities” to refer to learning disabilities. The growth of disability studies means that the use of ‘disabled’ (like a “disabled car”) or ‘disability’ for a person who does not have equal access to social participation because of poverty has fallen out of use [24]. In academia and in the social world, disability studies has had many impacts, and is a vital and growing field, and we believe that it is important to recognize that in LCSH.

As it currently exists, the term and its variants (Socially disadvantaged people, Socially handicapped, Underprivileged people) would clearly be better worded as “social inequalities.” It is also inappropriate to situate it under the broader term of People with disabilities. Instead, it might make more sense to create a new NT of Persons that would be “Marginalized persons” or “Socially marginalized persons” as we illustrate in the Appendix. We recognize that this immediately runs into issues with Marginality, Social’s variant term Marginal peoples (Subject authority record for Marginality, Social, 2005) and Equality’s variant term Social inequality (Subject authority record for Equality, 2006). We suggest that these variant terms be surfaced and developed more fully. Nonetheless, the fact that there are multiple unlinked equivalents to social inequality, marginalization, marginal peoples, etc. demonstrates (we think) the need for a greater attention to the representation and organization of social marginalizations in LCSH.

The authors of this paper (along with Dr. Gracen Brilmyer) requested revisions to the disability hierarchy from LC in October of 2020, but have received no replies despite several follow-ups.

Current ‘stopgaps’ & future possibilities

Throughout this paper we have at times utilized a more ‘neutral’ tone to demonstrate the banality, inanity, and absurdity of the current hierarchy of disability cataloging and classification exist for the purpose of aiding users. By failing to accurately and humanely represent users, catalogers and knowledge organization systems fail disabled and socioeconomically marginalized people specifically and all users (i.e., other libraries and the public) more generally. We believe and insist that the classification and labelling of disabled people warrants attention and an ethics of care. In the Appendix, we have undertaken a reorganization of the Persons hierarchy with the aim of soliciting feedback from colleagues and readers. As will be apparent from a review of this resource, we have not developed and built out proposals for new terminology but have instead undertaken a reorganization of the currently existing terms required before other revisions.

As readers of this article and its Appendix may not be catalogers, allow us to be blunt and ‘pull back the curtain’ for a moment: catalogs, classification, and metadata are not neutral. Although subject headings and classifications seem to passively reflect the world, they are in fact deeply white, European, bourgeois, Christian, cisgender, citizen, heterosexual, ableist, allosexual, monogamous, settler, and man-centric in nature [25]. Even modern decisions about representation and description carry the weight of centuries of historic prejudice. As Emily Drabinski puts it:

As the tools that order things, our catalogs and classification structures are themselves technologies of power, facilitating some ways of knowing and not others, representing certain ideological ways of seeing the world, and, crucially, not others. As librarians, we deploy these tools of power every day in our practice, as we describe material using controlled vocabularies, assign class numbers to place books on shelves. [26]

As knowledge organizers, we have attempted to deploy the argument made above with the tools of our profession, i.e., the structure and organization of the Appendix. By proposing new classifications of Marginality, Social we are drawing together works on Poverty, Crime, Emigration and immigration, Discrimination and Equality. Similarly, we have reorganized the Persons hierarchy to include “Disabled people” as a high-level narrower term, alongside two new terms “Economically Disadvantaged” and “Socially Marginalized.” The following reorganization proposals avoid new terms, instead either proposing the merging of social disabilities under heading Poor or proposing the merging of currently existing disability terms under the heading People with disabilities.

There are developing effort to propose new subject headings for disability studies and disabled people, and we both hope that this work is read as a call to action for substantial revisions to Library of Congress Classification as well. The authors recognize that change in these systems happens remarkably slowly and some knowledge organizers would prefer immediate action. As one of the authors (Watson) is a on the editorial board of another controlled vocabulary (the Homosaurus Linked Data Vocabulary), they proposed the addition of disability terminology not present in LCSH, and the revision of older terminology present in Homosaurus so that GLAMS metadata workers could use Homosaurus’ terminology temporarily or permanently in their own systems [27]. Again, this is not a perfect solution, as Homosaurus is largely meant to be a “supporting” vocabulary of LGBTQ+ terminology, and, as not all disabled people are part of the LGBTQ+ community, some may feel that it would be inaccurate to use Homosaurus’ terms to describe non-LGBTQ+ disabled people. Regardless, we propose these Homosaurus terms in the spirit of “information activism” (McKinney, 2020):

 

LGBTQ+ disabled people 
Related terms 
 LGBTQ+ people with chronic illnesses
 Crip
 LGBTQ+ Deaf culture
Narrower terms 
 LGBTQ+ hard of hearing people
 LGBTQ+ Deaf people
 LGBTQ+ blind people
 LGBTQ+ wheelchair users
 Lesbian disabled people
 Gay disabled people
 Bisexual disabled people
 Transgender disabled people
 Queer disabled people

 

These terms may be used to catalog in linked data environments, finding aids, and MARC. For cataloger-readers who use MARC, the LC subject source code for Homosaurus is homoit. Subject source codes are used in a subfield 2 of a subject field with a second indicator 7. For example: 650 \7 $a Queer disabled people $2 homoit (Libtary of Congress Network Development and MARC Standards Office, 2022, 2021). End of article

 

About the authors

Bri(an) M. Watson is a disabled, white, queer and nonbinary settler hailing from N’dakina in Aln8ba8dwaw8gan, now living in Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and əlilwətaɬ. They are currently a Vanier Scholar at University of British Columbia’s iSchool focusing on histories of information and the practice of equitable cataloging in libraries, archives, museums, and special collections. Watson is the Archivist-Historian of the American Psychological Association’s Consensual Nonmonogamy Committee and the Haslam Collection on Polyamory at the Kinsey Institute. They serve on the editorial board of Homosaurus (https://homosaurus.org). For 2022–23, they are one of UBC Library’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Scholars-in-Residence.
E-mail: brimwats [at] mail [dot] ubc [dot] ca

Beck Schaefer is the cataloging assistant at Osgoode Hall Law School Library, York University in Toronto and has taught cataloging in the Library and Information Technician Program at Seneca College. He holds a M.A. in history from York University and a Master’s of Information from the University of Toronto. Within the larger cataloging community, he participates in efforts to improve LCSH and to promote trans and gender diverse affirming cataloging practices.
E-mail: bschaefer [at] osgoode [dot] yorku [dot] ca

 

Notes

1. Throughout this paper we follow the Library of Congress’ style convention and show authorized headings in bold and variant headings in italics. For more on authorized and variant headings, see the “Controlled vocabularies” section of this paper.

2. Although we begin by discussing classification, the focus of this paper is on cataloging. However, this introductory section is aimed at readers unfamiliar with library cataloging and classification and therefore begins with the logistics of classification (space and place). Readers more familiar with these concepts may want to skip two paragraphs ahead.

3. This specific exercise, we should note, works only in a library that uses Library of Congress Classification; therefore, it begins with a discussion of classification. The Dewey Decimal System has similar issues, but in DDC the monolithic HQ is split into clusters around national literatures, the 170s (Reason), 360s (Social problems and services), or the 640s (Home and family management). See Green, 2012; Dewey Program at the Library of Congress, no date.

4. Available at https://iucat.iu.edu/catalog/2160994.

5. Available at https://iucat.iu.edu/catalog/275840.

6. One of the authors (Watson) of this article identifies as Crip, but we have chosen the term “disabled users” for use in this text as the authors feel that the Library of Congress is more likely to accept this wording. There are a few exceptions to this: 1) where “crip” was used as a search term in the literature review; 2) where we use crip as an example of a term that could be added for Feminist Queer Crip; and 3) where we have suggested it as a potential heading.

7. Discovery layers integrate a library’s catalog with databases, digital repositories, etc. allowing a single search across multiple sources. While nearly all catalogs will use LCSH, their use in the other parts of the discovery layer is more uneven.

8. Based on revision dates in authority records that contain the word “primitive” in an earlier established form of the heading.

9. Brunskill, 2021, p. 81.

10. Schomberg, 2018, p. 1.

11. Sullivan, 2021, p. 8.

12. Sullivan, 2021, p. 18.

13. Berman, 1993, pp. 49–50.

14. Berman, 1993, p. 175.

15. Sullivan, 2021, p. 18.

16. Koford, 2014, p. 30.

17. Carmody, 2015, p. 59.

18. American Library Association, 1968–1981, volume 197, p. 683.

19. Baynton, 2016, p. 69.

20. Baynton, 2016, p. 70.

21. Sullivan, 2021, p. 13.

22. Based on CTRL+F search of the Act at https://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm.

23. For example, see http://cdrnys.org/blog/disability-dialogue/the-disability-dialogue-marriage-equality/; https://www.specialneedsalliance.org/the-voice/what-happens-when-persons-living-with-disabilities-marry-2/; and, https://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/232/22.html.

24. Credit to this point goes to Devva Kasnitz, Ph.D., Kate Welling Distinguished Scholar in Disability Studies, Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).

25. Or, WEB3CH2A2MS. Originally WEBCHAM from Hope Olson’s naming of the default and assumed universal center of cataloging and classification system (Olson, 2001, p. 4), expanded by Michelle Caswell to include “cis” and “citizen” at the encouragement of Marika Cifor (Caswell, 2021, p. 7), and expanded by Watson here and elsewhere to include settler status, relationship and romantic orientations.

26. Drabinski, 2019, p. 50.

27. Much of this detail work was undertaken by Cailin Roles, a graduate assistant working with K.J. Rawson at Northeastern University. The entire Homosaurus Editorial Board is indebted and thankful to Cailin’s work.

28. Note that in these sections we have not bolded terms for readability purposes. This section proposes the addition of several terms as related terms to Marginality, social.

29. This section proposes adding two new terms “Economically Disadvantaged” and “Socially Marginalized” and adjusting terms accordingly.

30. This section avoids new terms and instead proposes the merging of social disabilities under heading Poor. Note that we have not hyperlinked or bolded currently existing headings in this section for readability purposes, and have instead bolded the section headings. Italics for variant terms have been preserved.

31. This section avoids new terms and instead proposes the merging of currently existing disability terms under the heading People with disabilities. Note that we have not hyperlinked or bolded currently existing headings in this section for readability purposes, and have instead bolded the section headings. Italics for variant terms have been preserved.

 

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Appendix of terminology

 

Marginality, Social: [28] 
 (New) Related Terms 
  Poverty
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85105939.html)
 
  Crime
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85033993.html)
 
  Emigration and immigration
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85042790.html)
 
  Discrimination
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85038376.html)
 
  Equality
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85044503.html)
 
Persons [29] 
 Narrower Terms 
 Disabled people (Renamed term) 
 (Moved) Narrower Terms
 Attention-deficit-disordered adults
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh94007736.html)
 DES-exposed persons
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh2002010135.html)
 Disfigured persons
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh89007143.html)
 
 Economically disadvantaged (New Term) 
 (Moved) Narrower Terms
 Unemployed
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85139639.html)
 Slaves
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85123347.html)
 Serfs
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85120219.html)
 Homeless Persons
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85061718.html)
 Persons displaced by eminent domain
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh2019103643.html)
 Sanitary landfill dwellers
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh2019103172.html)
 Medically uninsured persons
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85100163.html)
 Poor
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85104834.html)
 Socially marginalized (New Term) 
 (Moved) Narrower Terms
 Refugees
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85112299.html)
 Prisoners
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85106950.html)
 Illiterate persons
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh98002273.html)
 Immigrants
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85064517.html)
 Criminals
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85036577.html)
 Exiles
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85046366.html)
 Drug abusers
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh2005001319.html)
 Deportees
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh2010001818.html)
 Internal migrants
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh2007000257.html)
 Victims
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh87002435.html)
 Minorities
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85085792.html)
 Noncitizens
(https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85100163.html)

 


 

Poor [30] 
Use for 
 Culturally deprived people 
 Culturally disadvantaged people 
 Disadvantaged people, Culturally 
 Disadvantaged people, Socially 
 People with cultural disabilities 
 Socially disadvantaged people 
 Socially handicapped Underprivileged people 
 Disadvantaged, Economically 
 Economically disadvantaged 
 Impoverished people 
 Low-income people 
 Pauperism 
 Poor--Economic conditions 
 Poor, The 
 Poor people 
Related Terms 
 Marginality, Social 
 
Narrower Terms 
 Business enterprises owned by people with social disabilities 
 Children with social disabilities
 Church work with people with social disabilities
 Classification--Books--People with social disabilities
 Libraries and people with social disabilities
 Libraries--Special collections--People with social disabilities
 Social work with people with social disabilities
 Students with social disabilities
 Teenagers with social disabilities
 Women with social disabilities
 Youth with social disabilities
 Arts and the poor
 Beggars
 Church work with the poor
 Elderly poor
 Internet and the poor
 Libraries and the poor 
 Poor Black people 
 Poor white people 
 Poor women 
 Rural poor 
 Tramps 
 Urban poor 
 Welfare recipients 

 


 

People with disabilities [31] 
Use for 
 Cripples 
 Disabled 
 Disabled people 
 Disabled persons 
 Handicapped 
 Handicapped people 
 Individuals with disabilities 
 People with physical disabilities 
 Persons with disabilities 
 Physically challenged people 
 Physically disabled people 
 Physically handicapped 
 Ill persons 
Related Terms 
 Disabilities 
 Sociology of disability 
 Diseases 
 Patients 
 
Narrower Terms 
 Addicts
 Care of the sick
Chronically ill 
Church work with the sick 
Cooking for the sick 
Critically ill 
Heart--Diseases--Patients 
Incurables 
Invalids 
Mentally ill 
Sex instruction for the sick 
Tuberculosis--Patients 
Visiting the sick 
Accessible Web sites for people with disabilities 
Actors with disabilities 
Agricultural laborers with disabilities 
Agricultural machinery for people with disabilities 
Air pilots with disabilities 
Alaska Natives with disabilities 
Amputees 
Animals as aids for people with disabilities 
Aphasic persons 
Art museums and people with disabilities 
Artists with disabilities 
Athletes with disabilities 
Authors with disabilities 
Automobile drivers with disabilities 
Automobile parking for people with disabilities 
Automobiles for people with disabilities 
Brothers and sisters of people with disabilities 
Bus drivers with disabilities 
Business enterprises owned by people with disabilities 
Businesspeople with disabilities 
Camps for people with disabilities 
Chairs for people with disabilities 
Children with disabilities 
Christian education of people with disabilities 
Church work with people with disabilities 
Clergy with disabilities 
Comedians with disabilities 
Composers with disabilities 
Computers and people with disabilities 
Consumers with disabilities 
Cooking for people with disabilities 
Dance for people with disabilities 
Dancers with disabilities 
Day care centers for people with disabilities 
Deafblind people 
 Developmentally disabled
 Disability insurance claimants
 Disabled veterans
 Discrimination against people with disabilities
 Exercise for people with disabilities
 Gardening for people with disabilities
 Gays with disabilities
 Grooming for people with disabilities
 Handicraft for people with disabilities
 Hearing impaired
 Home economics for people with disabilities
 Indians with disabilities
 Landscape architecture for people with disabilities
 Laryngectomees
 Lawyers with disabilities
 Libraries and people with disabilities
Libraries--Special collections--People with disabilities 
Library employees with disabilities 
Mass media and people with disabilities 
Medical personnel with disabilities 
Meetings--Accessibility for people with disabilities 
Men with disabilities 
Middle-aged persons with disabilities 
Minority people with disabilities 
Museums and people with disabilities 
Musical instruments for people with disabilities 
Musicians with disabilities 
Mute persons 
Older people with disabilities 
Ostomates 
Paralytics 
Parents with disabilities 
Pastoral care of people with disabilities 
People with mental disabilities 
People with social disabilities 
People with visual disabilities 
Politicians with disabilities 
Prisoners with disabilities 
Reading devices for people with disabilities 
Recreation areas and people with disabilities 
Restrooms for people with disabilities 
Self-defense for people with disabilities 
Self-employed people with disabilities 
Self-help devices for people with disabilities 
Sex instruction for people with disabilities 
Sexual minorities with disabilities 
Social work with people with disabilities 
Social workers with disabilities 
Soldiers with disabilities 
Sports for people with disabilities 
Students with disabilities 
Stutterers 
Teachers with disabilities 
Technology and people with disabilities 
Television--Accessibility for people with disabilities 
Tracheotomy--Patients 
Truck drivers with disabilities 
Volunteers with disabilities 
Women with disabilities 
Youth with disabilities  

 

 


Editorial history

Received 16 November 2022; accepted 12 December 2022.


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Handicapped has been cancelled: The terminology and logics of disability in cultural heritage institutions
by Brian M. Watson and Beck Schaefer.
First Monday, Volume 28, Number 1 - 2 January 2023
https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/download/12898/10758
doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v28i1.12898