Person First Language.

Person-first language refers to the person, rather than their disability first. Many individuals prefer this language when being spoken to.   For example, when referring to a person with a disability, refer to the person first, by using phrases such as, “a person who …”, “a person with …” or, “person who has …” 

 

Keep in mind that not all individuals prefer this language, but it is considered a standard.  Keep these three tips in mind: 

  • People-first language is the best place to start when talking to a person with a disability.

  • If you are unsure, ask the person how he or she would like to be described.

  • It is important to remember that preferences can vary. 

Regardless, always be kind and courteous. If a client is offended by a term you have used, offer your apologies and ask them how they prefer to be greeted, or what term they prefer you utilize. Be kind and do not try to explain why you utilized the terminology that you have. They do understand, they simply advocating for themselves. We must support them. 

See How Person First Language Makes a Difference: 

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