Sunday, September 25, 2011

let's put the person first, not the disabilty

from Disabilty is Natural:

Do the words used to describe you have an impact on your life? You bet! Contrary to the age-old "sticks and stones" lesson we learned as children, words do matter!

For too long, people who happen to have conditions we call "disabilities" have been subjected to devaluation, marginalization, prejudice, and more.

And the first way to devalue someone is through language, by using words or labels to identify a person/group as "less-than," as "the others—not like us," and so forth.

Once a person/group has been identified this way, it makes it easier to justify prejudice and discrimination.

Our language shapes our attitudes; our attitudes shape our language; they're intertwined.

And our attitudes and language drive our actions!

Using People First Language—putting the person before the disability—and eliminating old, prejudicial, and hurtful descriptors, can move us in a new direction.

People First Language is not political correctness; instead, it demonstrates good manners, respect, the Golden Rule, and more—it can change the way we see a personread the powerful "One Mother's Testimony" on the Explore/News and Notes page.

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