One of the five apples is green, and a green apple is more like red apples than different. One in five Americans has a disability, and people with disabilities are more like people without disabilities than different. Like gender, ethnicity and other traits, disability is a natural part of life and it’s time for us to begin treating it that way!
Positive language empowers. When writing or speaking about people with disabilities, it is important to put the person first. Group designations such as “the blind,” “the disabled” are inappropriate because they do not reflect the individuality, equality, or dignity of people with disabilities. Further, words like “normal person” imply that the person with a disability is not normal, whereas “person without a disability” is descriptive, but not negative.
Here is a quick chart developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that helps you know how to be “people first.”