People First Language

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mark123
Words 1522
Pages 7
To achieve Inclusion, Community, and Freedom for people with disabilities, we must use

People First Language A commentary by Kathie Snow

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lighting and the lightning bug.
Mark Twain

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.
- Old Chinese Proverb -
Who are "the handicapped"... the "disabled"?
Society's myths tell us they are:
• people who "suffer" from the "tragedy" of "birth defects"...
• paraplegic "heroes" "struggling" to become "normal"...
• "victims" of diseases "fighting" to regain their lives...
• categorically... "the disabled, the retarded, the autistic, the blind, the deaf, the learning disabled" and more.
Who are they, really?
They are moms and dads and sons and daughters... employees and employers... scientists
(Stephen Hawking)... friends and neighbors... movie stars (Marlee Matlin)... leaders and followers... students and teachers... they are... people. They are people.
They are people, first. Are you myopic or do you wear glasses?
Are you cancerous or do you have cancer?
Are you freckled or do you have freckles?
Are you handicapped/disabled or do you have a disability? People First Language describes what a person HAS, not what a person IS! People First Language puts the person before the disability.
Disability has been defined as a body functions that operates differently.

Contrast that meaning with:
A published origin of "handicap" refers to "hand in cap", a game where winners were penalized or put at a disadvantage. a legendary origin of the word refers to a person with a disability having to beg on the street with "cap in hand." "Handicapped", " Disabled", or People with Disabilities:
Which description…...

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