Make every attempt to be inclusive when writing text representing the college’s business, programs and services. Inclusive language does not make assumption regarding age, gender, race, or


Avoid making assumptions about age-related abilities and career goals. Remember that our students can be 15 years old or over age 70.


Use “person first” language. Use the terms accessible parking and accessible elevator, not handicap parking and handicap elevator.

She uses a wheelchair; students who are blind; individuals with a disability.


Diversity is not just about ethnicity; it includes sex, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and stereotypes. As a college that values and encourages diversity, it is important to communicate in a manner that is inclusive and treats all individuals and groups as equals.

Avoid euphemisms.

Avoid “politically incorrect” terminology.


Brookdale Community College is an Equal Opportunity institution. No person, in whatever relationship with the College, shall be subjected to discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, creed, color, nationality, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, civil union status, domestic partner status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States, disability, or other protected categories or activity (i.e., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in the complaint process). Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful gender discrimination and, likewise, will not be tolerated. (Board Policy 3.9002)


Do not assume ethnicity. Hyphens are not necessary. Common race and ethnicity terms found on the college’s admissions application and registration forms are White, Black or African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. There are new race/ethnicity guidelines for students to follow when filling out an admission application, credit registration form, or continuing education registration form.


Use plurals whenever possible so that both genders are included. If the singular must be used, use both pronouns (he/she), joined by a conjunction, or rewrite the sentence to be non-gender specific. The pronoun “their” is plural and therefore is not a substitute for “he/she.” It should be used only in reference to a group of people.

If a student will be late, he or she needs to inform his or her professor immediately.

A student who anticipates being late needs to inform the class professor immediately.


Gender identity and expression are different than sexual orientation. The external appearance of gender may or may not differ from a person’s biological gender and sexual orientation.


Do not make assumptions when writing about a person or a group. Not every engineer is a man, nor is every nurse a woman.