Words matter: Style guide created for inclusive writing

July 19, 2022 (Volume 45, Number 19)
Article by Michele Coffill

screenshot of website home page for Inclusive Writing Style guide, web banner photo is the Pew Grand Rapids Campus

The inclusive style guide complements Grand Valley's current writing style guide.

Staff members from across campus worked collaboratively to create a style guide for inclusive writing to complement the university's current style guide.

The Inclusive Writing Style Guide was developed in concert with a recommendation from Grand Valley's Network of Advisors for Racial Equity.

The style guide offers thoughtful, practical guidance when writing and speaking about diverse populations: gender, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, people from low-income backgrounds, and people of various races and ethnicities.

The guide is linked to Grand Valley's Identity website. Departments are encouraged to add the inclusive style guide to their own websites.

Staff members from departments in the Division of Inclusion and Equity and social justice centers collaborated to create the guide. Shontaye Witcher, senior director of Disability Support Resources, and other DSR staff members researched best practices on writing about people with disabilities.

"Our first step as a team consisted of developing and keeping a fair, accurate and compassionate document," Witcher said. "As a professional, I know words matter. And as terminology evolves, we hope to continue conversations and welcome input."

As a living document, the guide will be updated and maintained by University Communications. Suggestions can be sent via email to [email protected].

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Across Campus

This article was last edited on July 19, 2022 at 1:7 p.m.

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