Friday, May 11, 2012

Putting People First

One of our district special education supervisors recently forwarded some information to the Committee on Special Education staff on People First Language, asking that we share it with our special education teachers. Seriously? Let's share that with EVERYONE! General education, special education, teacher aides, teacher assistants, engineering staff, cafeteria monitors, secretaries, parent volunteers... EVERYONE works with students with disabilities, and EVERYONE should be thoughtful of how they are reacting to those with differing abilities.

It's a simple concept really--putting a person before their disability--but the implications are great. By using People First Language, we are describing what the person has, and not who the person is. Kathie Snow at Disability is Natural has great resources regarding People First Language. This PDF gives a great overview of People First Language, and was the one that I shared with my entire building. This PDF is a great supplement as it provides examples of how we can turn phrases into People First Language.

Are you mindful of using People First Language?

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