Friday, 15 February 2013

People First Language

In case you have not jumped on the "People First Language" band wagon, I want to invite you to climb aboard.

I would like to invite you to refer to people not as their diagnoses, but as themselves.

I would like to encourage you to think of people, not labels.

Glitter is a young woman with a developmental delay, not a Developmentally Delayed Woman.

That child, over there? He is a child with an autism spectrum disorder. He is not an Autistic Child.

I would like to demand, in fact, that you think of the people first.

**And yes, of course, thinking of the people first means calling people what they wish to be called. And if that isn't People First Language, it is still "people first language," if ya know what I mean.


  1. You stated this concept amazingly! I have definitely been on board for a while but have never seen it expressed as elegantly.

    Labels are definitely something we could all do with less of as they are frequently dehumanizing and make it easy to make assumptions rather than getting to know the person.

    1. I agree-- we have a habit of wildly over-labeling people. Perhaps because it is so much easier to understand something once we have put it in a box? What is a label aside from a schema with a different name?