Autism Acceptance Month: People First vs. Identity First Language


A few years ago, I participated in a course called “Partners in Policymaking” where I learned very valuable things about how laws protecting disabled people were enacted and how new policy is created. One thing I didn’t like, though, was the insistence on using “People First Language” (PFL) because it “emphasizes the person first, not their disability.” This is advocated by all government agencies, including the CDC, and by some universities that offer courses related to autism.

While more and more people are seeing the bias implied in PFL and are advocating for the use of “Identity First Language” (IFL), it seems like this is an ongoing conversation. PFL vs. IFL has been discussed in many spheres and blogs. One good article is by Emily Ladau, who happens to be a Partners in Policymaking pal. Here are my two cents.

The original idea was good. It meant to stop…

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Published by Autism Candles

My name is Nathan Young. I'm the founder of the Autism Candles project. I am a self-advocate. The candle project exist to make a statement about inclusion and opportunity. My email is Feel free to contact me.


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