Encourage people to use person first language, describing a person by who they are before the disability they have.

"It is important to more than 43 million Americans with disabilities that they be portrayed realistically and spoken to respectfully. People with disabilities prefer that you focus on their individuality, not their disability..."

"1 in 5 Americans have a disability, making people with disabilities one of the largest minority groups...it is no more appropriate to call African Americans 'blacks' than it is to call a person with a disability 'retarded'"

The purpose of person first language is to see more to a person than his or her disability. Labels like "Autistic" and "Retarded or Disabled" are no longer acceptable ways of describing an individual. Rather than saying that person is Autistic, person first language would say "He/She is someone with Autism."

Examples of using Person First Language:

1. the deaf ---> people who are deaf
2. the vision impaired ---> people with vision impairments
3. the disabled --->people with disabilities
4. polio victim --->had polio
5. a victim of AIDS --->a person with AIDS
6. bound/confined to a wheelchair --->uses a wheelchair
7. homebound employment --->employed in the home
8. victim --->person who has or experienced
9. crippled --->person with a disability
10. invalid --->person who has a disability caused by


1. A person should not be defined by their disability.