Language Matters Discussion Guide

Language is constantly evolving. We can all benefit from discussions that allow us to evaluate the language we use when speaking or writing about diabetes.

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What are the objectives of this discussion guide?

  • To reflect on and understand the way you currently portray and talk about people with diabetes in your internal and external communications and in your marketing assets.
  • To introduce and discuss the current Language Matters movement as it relates to diabetes.
  • To establish the changes that need to be made moving forward to improve the way you portray and talk about people with diabetes.

Discussion Questions

  1. What kind of language do you currently use to talk about people with diabetes and the condition itself? What is the main driver of the current language you use – is it individual biases, societal norms, existing company norms, a specific language or writing guide, or specific people who edit or write your communications or marketing assets?
  2. What do you currently know about the Language Matters movement as it relates to diabetes? You can learn more about this movement and its guidance on the dStigmatize Language Resources page.
  3. What are your initial reactions to the Language Resources? How many of these language choices do you already use regularly? Do you feel like these changes can be easily implemented in your work? Do you disagree with any of the suggested changes to commonly used words and phrases?
  4. How often do you consult or employ people with diabetes when you are creating communications and marketing assets that center diabetes?
  5. What actionable steps have to be taken in order to start shifting the language you use to be more empowering, inclusive, and nonstigmatizing? Will it require shifting the company’s cultural norms, will it require changes to a language or style guide that you use, will it require more intentional inclusion of people with diabetes into the creation of your communication and marketing assets?
  6. What timeline is reasonable for your team to begin implementing meaningful changes into the way you portray and talk about people with diabetes?