Talk:People-first language

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Incorrect examples?[edit]

Some of the existing examples have other edits beyond people-first usage, and may be muddying the waters as a result. Replacing "retardation" with "developmental disability" is not people-first usage, and changing "confined to a wheelchair" to "uses a wheelchair" is preferable for reasons of simple logic as well: it's shorter and more accurate, as very few wheelchair users are actually "confined". As these usages are covered elsewhere, these examples should probably be edited or deleted.

Also, the last paragraph seems a bit prejudiced. I'd like to see some positive information presented as balance for the criticism.

Feyandstrange 08:38, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Curious use of "the blind" in an article on people-first language. The bias of the article is very apparent.


There is another article entitled "Person-first terminology" addressing similar concepts. Perhaps this ought to be merged? 67.82.236.239 03:12, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Where did the examples in the chart come from anyway? I agree, this article needs some things removed or changed. 98.200.253.150 (talk) 17:36, 10 May 2008 (UTC)


"People first language" is primarily used in the USA. It is contested by UK disability activists, who prefer the term 'disabled person'. This is because (as per the World Health Organisation definitions) the person has an impairment but is disabled by society, so "person with disability" is inaccurate. Random randomer randomest (talk) 16:13, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

"typical" not People First?[edit]

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities lists "typical kids" as an example of People First Language, and I can't find a source that disagrees except our article. Anyone against removing it from the "conventional usage" column here? --Allen (talk) 02:36, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

References need fixing[edit]

This page is not well sourced and the few references that exist need to be checked and ordered. One reference is to an outdated page. When I tried to fix the references, I received a spam links message. 68.224.201.192 (talk) 06:54, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

refimprove[edit]

Article is badly under-referenced, especally the "examples" section. Don't base articles on primary sources, and much less on your personal gut feeling. The entire point of "people first" appears to be, avoid the copula. Use full verbs, emphasizing that the condition is circumstantial and not part of the sufferer's identity. I.e. say "X is afflicted by crippling disability", don't say "X is a cripple", or "X is using a wheelchair", not "X is a wheelchair user". The entire point is to avoid saying "X is Y". So this edit seems to be missing the point entirely. But I don't know, do I, because somehow this article is above citing decent references.

My suggestion is that this is reduced to the portions that are actually referenced, and then merged into Disability etiquette. --dab (𒁳) 11:17, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

here is the table of examples, cut from the article:

proposed usage conventional usage
people with disabilities disabled people/the handicapped
people living with HIV HIV/AIDS patients or victims
Paul has a cognitive disability (diagnosis). Paul is cognitively disabled.
Kate has (a diagnosis of) autism. Kate is autistic.
Ryan has (a diagnosis of) Down/Down's syndrome. Ryan is retarded/mentally retarded.
Sara has a learning disability (diagnosis). Sara is learning disabled.
Mary is of short stature/has dwarfism. Mary is a little person/dwarf.
Bob has a physical disability (diagnosis). Bob is a quadriplegic.
Tom has a mental health condition. Tom is emotionally disturbed/mentally ill.
Nora uses a wheelchair/is a wheelchair user. Nora is wheelchair-dependent/bound.
Steve receives special education services. Steve is a special education student.
Tonya has a developmental delay. Tonya is developmentally delayed.
children without disabilities normal/healthy/typical children
…communicates with her eyes/device/etc. …is non-verbal.
Amy is without residence. Amy is homeless.

these examples should at least be referenced to some online guideline, otherwise we must assume they were just made up by Wikipedians on the go to illustrate the concept. --dab (𒁳) 12:42, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Weak references[edit]

This article contains a single reference - and not a good one - citing the pro-people-first movement. I want to know what advocacy groups pushed this usage, and Wikipedia doesn't tell me. There must be people out there who know more about this subject. MarkinBoston (talk) 00:11, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Most of the citations that state that there is criticism of the people-first language movement are pre-1999 and represent the views of one or two individuals who are not recognized authorities in their field. In addition, the statement that Deaf people have rejected people-first language is incorrect. They reject "hearing-impaired" and make the distinction that "Deaf person" denotes a person is culturally Deaf while a "person who is deaf" denotes someone with a pathological diagnosis of deafness, but no cultural identity. I think this entire article needs some serious re-writes and the citations need to be better referenced as well as updated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Snowpea79 (talkcontribs) 14:57, 24 December 2011 (UTC)