Saturday, 31 August 2013

Person first language

I saw this poster of Down Syndrome Ireland in the library today. I liked it so much that I was thinking about it the whole day. Here is a more detailed explanation of their person first language.

It really-really resonates with me. Especially these parts:

  • "A baby born with Down syndrome is not a “Down’s child” or a “Down syndrome baby.”" 
  • "It is also important to use correct terminology. A person does not “suffer” from Down syndrome, nor are they “afflicted”. It is not a disease. Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition which results in an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. It was discovered by Dr. John Langdon Down." "
  • Person First language emphasises respect for the individual. A child is much more than a label. Help to educate family, friends and professionals about the preferred way to refer to a person with Down syndrome."

Trying to translate these statements into dwarfism terms would be very interesting, wouldn't it...
  • A baby born with dwarfism is not a dwarf or any other label e.g. noun.
  • Dwarfism is not a disease but it is a genetic condition.

Only one question remains, why do members of the dwarfism community promote the use of labels such as "dwarf" and "little person"? 

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