Language is a powerful tool to help promote inclusion and make sure everyone feels heard and seen for who they are.
Let's talk about the difference between person first language and identity first language:
Person first language says “a person with a disability”.
Identity first language says “a disabled person”.
WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU USE?
People have different preferences when it comes to
person first language and identity first language.
If you don't know what someone prefers, ask. An important part of inclusion is letting people speak for themselves.
"I prefer Person First Language because I am not my disability. I want to be treated like my family and friends treat me: as a person."
- Nicole, Minnesota
To me, Person First language means to treat everyone in a way that shows them their value in the way that we speak - uplifting and not degrading. Inclusion is so important and it starts with out words.
Person First language allows people to address each other as equals, without prejudice or disrespect. This is inclusion and it is within everyone's ability.
Person First language is important to me because I am not my disability. I want to be treated like my family and friends treat me: as a person.