People First Language

Posted by Pam Blanton on March 22, 2010

People First Language represents a more respectful way of communicating.  People with disabilities are not their disabilities; they are people, first.  It’s about respect and dignity.  Our words have a powerful impact on people’s feelings.

People with disabilities make up our nation’s largest minority group spanning all ages, races, ethnicities and social economic groups.  You may join this group at any time.  How would you want people to refer to you?

Most people don’t intentionally use hurtful words.  It’s time to pay more attention and choose our words more carefully.  People First Language puts the person before the disability, and describes what a person has, not who a person is.

Kathie Snow provides tips on how to better choose your words in her article titled, A Few Words About People First Language.  You will find this on her inspiring website


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