Inclusive Language and Icebreakers

Inclusive Language 

The University of Arizona is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming experience for all of its diverse community members. Incorporating inclusive language in your activities helps create a comfortable environment for everyone. Always create your activities, icebreakers and events with a diverse audience in mind: 

  • Refer to disabled people as either "disabled" or "a person with a disability." 
  • Refer to those who use wheelchairs as "wheelchair-users." 
  • Refer to access features as "disability-related access." Do not use the word "special." 
  • If a disabled participant does not want assistance, please respect their decision and do not continue to offer.  

Inclusive Icebreakers 

Some icebreakers have physical components that are inaccessible, such as trust falls or the human knot exercise. Others have visual content that may be inaccessible, such as the icebreaker where each individual wears a piece of paper on their back with the name of a famous person and has to ask the other participants questions to figure out what name is written on their back.  

When choosing icebreakers, be conscious about the environment and whether everyone can access the same areas of the space. If there are space constraints, you may want to consider icebreakers that involve talking to a partner or a small group of nearby individuals.  

Examples of inclusive activities:  

  • Two Truths and a Lie (also called Fact or Fiction) - Each attendee comes up with 3 things which may not be known to the others in the group. Two are true and one is not. Share the 3 "facts" and have the group vote on what is true/false. 
  • The Interview - pair/group attendees who interview each other. Discover 3 interesting facts about each other and then share facts out to entire group. 
  • Desert Island - announce, 'You've been exiled to a deserted island for a year. In addition to the essentials, you may take one piece of music, one book, and one luxury item (not a boat). What would you take and why?' Share information out to group after a short think period.  

 Field Trips 

  • Design field trips in a way that provides a common experience for all students, including routes, activities, and transportation 
  • If you provide transportation, ensure that it is wheelchair accessible (has a lift), unless you ask participants if they need accessible transportation and no one requests it.  
  • You can rent accessible vehicles from University of Arizona Motorpool for the same prices as other options. Contact University of Arizona Motorpool at (520) 621-5174 for more information.