In a brochure issued by the Council of the European Union it is stated that inclusive, bias-free language avoids stereotypes and references to irrelevant details. It acknowledges positive qualities in people of all genders and sexual orientations, persons with disabilities, people of all ages, from all backgrounds and of any or no religion or belief. Further publications are becoming available that draw the attention of authors and translators to this aspect of communication.

Recent guidelines on health research and content also promote inclusive language that does not stigmatize nor perpetuate stereotypes. Where and how can such language be used?

Inclusive language is particularly important in patient-facing materials, such as leaflets, clinical study recruitment announcements or Informed Consent Forms, and can have a direct impact on the number or retention of volunteers.

One of the most evident requirements related to inclusive language in medicine-related contexts is the need to avoid phrases such as “to suffer from” as well as words suggesting passivity and lack of control over one’s own life, such as “affected”. Instead, we should always focus on a person when writing and speaking, and use phrases like “a person with a disability”. In addition, when translating texts into inflected languages, attention should be paid to personal forms so as to cover all patients who identify with a given gender.

KONTEKST is a signatory of the Diversity Charter and a Member of the Responsible Business Forum – being open to diversity is among our fundamental values. More and more frequently clients ask us to adapt their documentation to the requirements of inclusive language. We have the appropriate technological resources to use coherent terminology within a translated material and across different projects. We create and update glossaries and termbases.

We speed up inclusive communication in life sciences.