Disability Etiquette - Words Matter!

Creating Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Society’s myths tell us they are:

  • “People who suffer from the tragedy of birth defects”
  • “Paraplegic heroes who struggle to become normal again”
  • “Victims who fight to overcome their conditions”
  • “The so-called disabled, retarded, autistic, blind, deaf, learning disabled, and more”

They are:

  • Moms and Dads
  • Sons and Daughters
  • Employees and Employers
  • Friends and Neighbors
  • Leaders and Followers
  • Students and Teachers

They are people!  They are people, first!

Using People First Language is a crucial issue.

People First Language puts the person before the disability!  The Disability Rights Movement is following in the footsteps of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the Women’s Movement of the 1970s. 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 eliminate the prejudicial language that creates an invisible barrier to inclusion in the mainstream of our society.