Providing services to persons with intellectual and developmental
disabilities since 1956

People First Language

People First language is a respectful way to speak about individuals with disabilities. It makes sure that individuals with disabilities and their contributions to their communities are valued and respected. After all, words hurt. Words, also, may not give an accurate picture of a person's skills and abilities.

In short, people with disabilities would prefer to be known as a person first. For example, say: “He is a person with a developmental disability." or “She is a person with epilepsy." Each time the person is put before the disability.

Members of Watch City Self Advocates say:

“Accept us for who we are."
“All people are different."
“Don't make fun of others."
“We don't want to feel the pain."

Now, hopefully, you understand how important using People First language is to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities served by GWArc and to other people with disabilities.




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GWArc, Inc. | 56 Chestnut Street | Waltham, Massachusetts 02453 | 781-899-1344 | gwarc@gwarc.org

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