People First Language

1506 Words Sep 8th, 2012 7 Pages
To achieve Inclusion, Community, and Freedom for people with disabilities, we must use

People First Language A commentary by Kathie Snow

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lighting and the lightning bug.
Mark Twain
________________________________________

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.
- Old Chinese Proverb -
Who are "the handicapped"... the "disabled"?
Society's myths tell us they are:
• people who "suffer" from the "tragedy" of "birth defects"...
• paraplegic "heroes" "struggling" to become "normal"...
• "victims" of diseases "fighting" to regain their lives...
• categorically... "the
…show more content…
All people who have brown hair are not alike. All people who have disabilities are not alike. Many people who have disabilities would never think of themselves as "handicapped".
The disability community is the largest minority group in the country. It includes people of both genders and from all religions, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic levels. About the only things that people with disabilities have in common with one another are 1) having a body function that operates differently and 2) facing prejudice and discrimination. Unique to the disability community is that it's the only minority group that any American can join in the split second of an accident.
If/when it happens to you, will you have more in common with others with disabilities or with your family, friends, and co-workers?

The Disability Rights Movement is following in the footsteps of the Civil Rights
Movement of the '60s and the Women's Movement of the '70s. While people with disabilities and advocates work to end discrimination and segregation in education, employment, and our communities at large, we must all work to end the prejudicial language that creates an invisible barrier to being included in the ordinary mainstream of life.
"Disability is a natural condition of the human experience." The U.S. Developmental Disabilities Act and The Bill of
Open Document