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The Importance Of "People-First" Language

The Importance Of "People-First" Language

by Mark Deeks -
Number of replies: 0

"People-First" Language

- What is it?


"People-First" language is a way of talking about people with disabilities. 

What People-First language is about is changing sentence structure.  When you talk about someone with disabilities, you name the person first and the condition second, in order to emphasize that "they are people first".

For example:

PEOPLE-FIRST - “She is a person with disabilities”
NOT PEOPLE-FIRST - “She is a disabled person” or "she is disabled"

PEOPLE-FIRST - “He has schizophrenia”
NOT PEOPLE-FIRST - “He is schizophrenic”


- Why does it matter?

When you acknowledge the person first, before the condition or disability, it indicates what a person HAS, not what a person IS.

This reduces stereotyping and stigmatising.

Not using People-First language is something most if not all of us have been guilty of at some point,. We do it without realising. But if we can get into the habit of doing it, it will help those it affects.