How do I know if I’m using the right terminology? I don’t want to offend anyone or set off red flags.

The A Place in the World report offers helpful language for community and housing development purposes.

In terms of how to talk about adults with A/I/DD, as a general rule, language about individuals with disabilities should reflect that which is used by self-advocates to describe themselves. Occasionally, self-advocates don’t agree on which words are best. For example, some people on the autism spectrum use identity-first language (“I am autistic”), and other people use person-first language (“I am a person with autism.”) Judy Endow, a well-known self-advocate on the autism spectrum, discusses some of the reasons in this article while highlighting what is most important:

“Rather than seeing the polarized language of person with autism and autistic, I see a unifying construct. I now see that when Kathie Snow invited us to use person-first language she was actually inviting us to come into a person-first attitude. And it is this person-first attitude that unites the word usages of person with autism and autistic. We all want to be included in the human race.” – Judy Endow

This blogpost offers a helpful chart for the Do’s and Don’ts of Talking About Disability


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