Top Definition
adj. Politically correct 1990s euphemism meaning "disabled". Contrary to what the words may suggest, "differently abled" does NOT mean "having different abilities;" more precisely it means "lacking expected abilities." Since mental disability is generally associated with much more social stigma than physical disability (and hence is ripe for being described by a "sensitive" PC vocabulary), "differently abled" is most frequently encountered in similar contexts as "special". With this in mind, persons of non-retarded status should construe the phrase as a deep insult.
What the teacher thinks: "Goddamn, that was funny! Why do they insist on mainstreaming these plainly retarded kids...they're so distracting to my class..."

What the teacher says: "Class, you should be ashamed of yourselves for laughing when our differently abled peers gave their fine interpretation of Hamlet."
بواسطة Carl Willis يناير/كانون الثّاني 18, 2005
The current politically correct term for mentally handicapped people. However, by the time this definition is finished being typed, "differently abled" will likely be a "slur" and the new PC term will be something even more vague.
"People with Down Syndrome are not 'disabled,' they're differently abled! And this has nothing to do with political correctness; simply understanding and clarity."
"I beg your pardon, but I don't appreciate you calling people like my son 'differently abled.' They are no more 'different' than any usual person. This is an offensive slur and needs to stop. Spread the word to end the D-word!"
بواسطة Sally Shears يونيو/حَزيران 11, 2016
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