Associated Press Announces Stylebook Change For Mental Illnesses

Last month, we blogged about how the Social Security Administration (SSA) will stop using the term “mental retardation” in its official List of Impairments.

The Associated Press has also announced recently that it is adding a section to its AP Stylebook called “mental illness.” advising journalists not to use specific diagnoses like autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental disorders unless it is important when reporting a story or properly sourced.

“It is the right time to address how journalists handle questions of mental illness in coverage,” Kathleen Carroll, executive editor and senior vice president at the AP said to “When is such information relevant to a story? Who is an authoritative source for a person’s illness, diagnosis, and treatment? These are very delicate issues and this Stylebook entry is intended to help journalists work through them thoughtfully, accurately, and fairly.”

The new section of the AP Stylebook is available online and will be included in the 2013 print edition, which is expected to be released this spring. Many disability rights groups and advocates are applauding this decision by the AP.

People who collect disability benefits fall often into the ‘mental illness’ category as described by the AP. These are people who are unable to hold employment because of their intellectual disabilities. Even though they cannot work, they still have feelings and deserve the same level of privacy that others experience.

If you have questions about applying for disability benefits or are unsure if you even qualify, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney. We offer free evaluations of your case, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys

Troutman Touts: The AP Stylebook also includes sections for “disabled, handicapped, impaired” and “Asperger’s syndrome.”


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