People First Language

Kathie Snow is the author of the article “To ensure Inclusion, Freedom, and Respect for all, it’s time to embrace People First Language.” In this article, she highlights the importance of respectful language when talking to and about people with disabilities. Snow argues that people should not be defined by their disability. Their disability is only a characteristic. Since this one characteristic does not define or represent the entire individual with a disability, than our language should be reflective of that reality.

This article explores the notion that all people, with and without disabilities, are unique and have different characteristics. As such, defining some individuals by their unique characteristics feed into negative stereotypes that portray people with disabilities as unable, weak, and in special need. Kathie Snow suggests that positive language creates positive opportunities.

Using people first language is a key component for achieving inclusion and accessibility! To visit Kathie Snow’s website and to see a list of her other articles, click here

For a direct link to a pdf version of this article, click here