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CAC Corner: Language Matters

Kelly Holt


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Graphic that says see the person not the disability

By Kelly Holt, CAC Chair

I love March, because March is a Disability Awareness Month and we need to remember and also not to use the -r- word. We all are trying to step up for our rights and also to respect others. And we are also to have a positive way to be strong and we have a choice to choose want we want in our lives. We do have qualities that all of us can do in our lives. Just remember, Language Matters.

Here are some tips on People First Language, courtesy of See the web site for more examples.

Remember, a disability descriptor is simply a medical diagnosis.

People First Language respectfully puts the person before the disability.

A person with a disability is more like people without disabilities than different.

Say: People with disabilities.
Instead of: The handicapped or disabled.

Say: He has a cognitive disability/diagnosis.
Instead of: He’s mentally retarded.

Say: She has autism.
Instead of: She’s autistic.

Say: He has Down syndrome.
Instead of: He’s Down’s or He’s mongoloid.

Say: She has a learning disability.
Instead of: She’s learning disabled.

Say: She uses a wheelchair.
Instead of: She’s confined to a wheelchair or She’s wheelchair-bound.

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