Person-first language

Person-first language is a way to refer to someone who has a disability. With person-first language, the person is mentioned before their disability. For example, “a woman who is hard-of-hearing” is person-first language. In contrast, “a hard-of-hearing woman” is not person-first language. Person-first language conveys the idea that the person as a whole is more important than just their disability. Also, historically, people with disabilities have often been excluded or segregated from society. Person-first language may help to address this historical barrier.

Note that if a person prefers to be referred to without person-first language (such as “a Deaf man”), you should follow that preference.

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