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 Handicapped or disabled

 He is mentally retarded

 She is autistic

 He is Downs or Mongoloid

 She is learning disabled

 He is a quadriplegic or crippled

 She is a dwarf  (or midget)

 He is emotionally disturbed

 She is confined to a wheelchair

 He is Special Ed

 Normal or healthy kids

 Handicapped parking

 Handicapped restroom

 Handicapped hotel room




 People with disabilities

 He has a cognitive or intellectual disability

 She has autism

 He has Down Syndrome

 She has a learning disability

 He has a physical disability

 She is of short stature or she is a little person

 He has an emotional disability

 She uses a wheelchair

 He receives Special Education services

 Typical kids or kids without disabilities

 Accessible parking

 Accessible restroom

 ADA accessible hotel room

Unique to the disability community is that it is the only minority group that any American can join in the split second of an accident.

If it happens to you, will you have more in common with others with disabilities

or with your family, friends, and co-workers?  Many people who do not now have a disability may have one in the future.  Others will have family members or friends who acquire a disability.  If you acquire a disability in your lifetime, how will you want to be described?  How will you want to be treated? Disability issues are issues that affect all Americans!

                 “Disability is a natural part of the human experience…”

*Excerpts from Kathie Snow’s “People First Language: A Commentary”

          Disability Etiquette – Words Matter!

Who are the so-called “handicapped”?

Society’s myths tell us they are:

“People who suffer from the tragedy of birth defects.”
“Paraplegic heroes who struggle to become normal again.”
“Victims who fight to overcome their conditions.”
“The so-called disabled, retarded, autistic, blind, deaf, learning disabled, and more.”

Who are they, really?

They are:
Moms and dads
Sons and daughters
Employees and employers
Friends and neighbors
Leaders and followers
Students and teachers

They are people!    They are people, first.

Using People First Language is a crucial issue.

People First Language puts the person before the disability!  The Disability Rights Movement is following in the footsteps of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the Women’s Movement of the 1970s.  While people with disabilities and advocates work to end discrimination and segregation in education, employment, and our communities at large, we must all work to eliminate the prejudicial language that creates an invisible barrier to inclusion in the mainstream of our society.

Examples of People First Language: