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INCITS Issues New Inclusive Terminology Guidelines for Standards

WASHINGTON – Today, INCITS, a leading U.S. standards organization dedicated to developing information technology standards, released ­new INCITS Inclusive Terminology Guidelines. The INCITS Inclusive Terminology Guidelines outline best practices for how to use inclusive terminology and incorporate the preferences of different communities and stakeholders.

Building on the INCITS Principle of Inclusive Terminology that was approved in September 2020, the guidelines further define and establish how INCITS documents should be written and updated to ensure clarity and inclusivity while also avoiding terms with negative connotations. INCITS is committed to replacing offensive terms with more inclusive language in its documents. The guidelines are the result of an eight-month effort by INCITS that included surveying best practices from many other organizations.

“These new guidelines will help experts in all INCITS committees develop standards that are more welcoming. We hope the broader standards community will reference and contribute to the publicly available guidelines going forward. Doing so will lead to more inclusive collaboration and consistent best practices across the industry,” said Phil Wennblom, Senior Director of Standards Policy at Intel Corporation and Chair of the INCITS working group on inclusive terminology. Bryce Adelstein Lelbach with NVIDIA served as the editor for the INCITS Inclusive Terminology Guidelines.

The INCITS Principle of Inclusive Terminology was championed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), to encourage broader, global adoption of this change. The 2021 edition of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 - Principles and rules for the structure and drafting of ISO and IEC documents, includes a new subclause on Inclusive Terminology that is well aligned with the INCITS Principle of Inclusive Terminology.

The INCITS Inclusive Terminology Guidelines is a living document. Feedback and suggested improvements to the Guidelines are welcome and should be sent to




INCITS – the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards – is the central U.S. forum dedicated to creating technology standards for the next generation of innovation.  INCITS members combine their expertise to create the building blocks for globally transformative technologies. From cloud computing to communications, from transportation to health care technologies, INCITS is the place where innovation begins. INCITS is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is affiliated with ITI. Visit to learn more.