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ERIC Number: ED511754
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr-22
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
Socially and Culturally Sensitive Communication: Using Person First Language
Ellmer, Margaret
Online Submission
"Cultural sensitivity is important in order to avoid language that relies on unfounded assumptions, negative descriptions or stereotypes of a given group's age, class, gender, or geographic, ethnic, racial, or religious characteristics." --Professor D. Parthasarathy. In today's global world it is becoming increasingly important to consciously consider the terminology we use when referring to others. The purpose of this paper is to explore and discuss the importance of using Person-First terminology in conversations with or about individuals with disabilities. Using terminology that does not offend or demean anyone is an appropriate way to show respect. Using Person First language is respectful because in doing so we recognize the most important aspect of an individual with disabilities--he or she is a person first. It is important that we educate others, adults as well as school children, to the fact that disabilities are a natural part of the human condition. Along with accepting the responsibility for using appropriate language personally, as educators it is recommended that our students be required to use person-first language in discussions and in their writing. While the benefits of using person-first language have not been challenged, there appears to be a shortage of research providing data on the impact of this practice. Research into the impact of the use of person-first language on persons with disabilities is recommended. Conducting research on the influence that the use of person-first language has on perceptions of neuro-typical individuals regarding persons with disabilities is another topic which warrants further investigation.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A