Person First Vs. Identity First Language

 In #zerobarriers, Why is this still a thing Wednesday
A woman wearing a shirt that reads "disability is not a bad word" while holding a cane up.
Photo credit: Laura Tindall, Disabilityartsonline

It’s been a thing. It’s still a thing. Referring to a person as a person first is generally the accepted practice. But that depends on who you talk to and where you live. I personally am comfortable identifying the person first; since regardless of their disability or diagnosis; they are a person first and foremost. That is what defines them. They are human. And something that is true of all humans, we are all different from one another. Even identical twins have traits that set them apart from their sibling. This is what makes us unique.

But there is a flip side to this view. On the other side of the pond, in the United Kingdom, there is a different take on things. Identity-first language is widely used and accepted because many feel that this is who they are. I wanted to share with you a piece by Cara Liebowitz, who writes for ‘the body is not an apology.’ First, I want to share their mission statement here. Read Cara’s article on Identity-First Language by clicking here.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network or ASAN expands on the two viewpoints. Lydia Brown explains it by saying that you take away someone’s identity when using people-first language. I encourage you read Lydia’s article here.

So a big influence on using people-first or identity-first depends on who you are and where you live. Another big part of this is what is accepted? Being accepted is important no matter what your circumstances are. We would like to hear how you feel about this. You can click here to let us know how you see it.

Tom from Freedom Resource Center holds a chalk board that reads 'Acceptance'
Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search