Individuals with disabilities are just the same as everyone else, and adjusting the language we use to recognize this fact is easy and puts the individual before his or her disability.

People-First Language represents a more respectful, accurate way of communicating.

People with disabilities are not their diagnosis or disabilities; they are people first.

We no longer talk about what’s wrong with an individual who has a disability, because like gender, ethnicity, and other traits, disability is simply a natural part of being human.

We believe People-First Language is not “political correctness,” but something more important: Good manners, respect, and The Golden Rule.

Examples of People-First Language

Say:Instead of:
People with disabilitiesThe handicapped
He has a cognitive disabilityHe’s mentally retarded
He has Down syndromeHe’s Down’s/ a Down’s kid
She has a physical disabilityShe’s a quad/para/crippled
He has a mental health diagnosisHe’s emotional disturbed/mentally ill
Children without disabilitiesNormal, healthy, regular children
Brain injuryBrain damaged

Visit the below resources to learn how you can incorporate People First Language into your vocabulary: