About the only thing more predictable than the outrage over the new Spazz model wheelchair (and the sportier Spazz-G) from Colours In Motion is the backtracking by the people selling the chair. Which is a shame, because they really had a chance to make a statement there.
Instead of trying to claim that in California, spazz doesn't mean an actual cripple but just someone who exhibits the same sorts of mannerisms as a cripple, they could've come out and made the point that it doesn't matter whether your wheelchair says "Spazz" on the side or "Turbo Spitfire". Kids will mock the spazz in the chair even if it's riced out with blacklights and a spoiler and says Civic on the front.
I want to see more products clearly labeled as what they are. If you're selling a helmet for tards, don't call it a Wayne Gretzky Special Edition, call it a Tard Guard. Don't call your cheap aluminum walker a Rally or Discovery, it's a Geezer Stand.
But of course the spazz advocacy groups like SCOPE (formerly called the Spastics Society) don't understand that language, and especially slang, is elastic. Which is why scoper has largely replaced spazz in British schoolyards. And over here, "special" has been largely ruined by well-meaning but deluded do-gooders.
There is not a word in the English language which, if applied to the handy, would not instantly become a pejorative. Try these on for size: champ; normal; jumper.
The simple fact that seems to elude the SCOPErs (but not the scopers) is that the word is not the thing. Changing the word to something more politically correct doesn't change the thing, and the new word will just take on all the connotations of the thing. Like "politically correct" itself.