How to Talk to a Child with Disabilities- People Before Descriptions : The Broach Buzz

How to Talk to a Child with Disabilities- People Before Descriptions

by The Broach School of Jacksonville on 10/04/13

How to Talk to a Child with Disabilities- People Before Descriptions

As educators, our job is to empower and uplift our students on a daily basis.  One simple way to ensure we do this is through our language.  

Person-first language is just that; putting the person, instead of disability, first.  Learn more about the definition of person-first language here.

Students experiencing disabilities are just like their peers; the way we talk about them and treat them is what makes them feel “different”. In a school setting, the last thing we want to do is make them feel less important or devalue them.  Therefore, person first-language introduced school-wide would help benefit all students by learning how to speak to and about other people in a respectful manner.  Click here to take the People First Language Pledge.

For example, saying “the low kids in the class” insinuates the kids themselves are low.   No parent wants to hear someone call their student “low”.  Using person first language, one might say “the kids with low test scores”.  In this case, the test scores might be low and the negative connotation of the word “low” is placed on test scores instead of the child.  

For a longer list of examples and of how to use person-first language, click here.

Simply put, we should all watch our language and the way we word our conversations with others.  In doing this, we are less likely to make people feel they are less than us or different if they are experiencing a disability.  In fact, we should all focus on the ABILITY instead of disABILITY.

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The Broach Buzz Blog provides information that can be helpful for families with children with special needs or disabilities or that are struggling in school.
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