People First Language Presentation and Training
Intuition ABLE Solutions was delighted to have Debbie Revels, Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, recently conduct a People First Language presentation for the entire team. We learned people with disabilities are – first and foremost – people! Ms. Revels taught us to recognize that people should not be defined by their disabilities, and how to speak in a way that relays this message through People First Language. People First Language was established so that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, and as a result, it refers to the individual first and the disability second. The presentation helped us understand that the language helps eliminate generalizations, assumptions and stereotypes generally associated with “disabilities” by focusing on the person rather than their disability.
As our team prepares to provide customer service and support to persons with disabilities, as well as their parents and guardians, we recognize the importance of being sensitive when choosing our words. Ms. Revels provided us with guidelines on appropriate language to use when speaking with or about people with disabilities. In addition, we discussed examples of what is and is not appropriate to say in varying situations. By changing the language we use, we are facilitating change on perceptions towards individuals with disabilities. As a testament to the importance of making our customers feel respected, Intuition ABLE Solutions has incorporated People First Language into our Customer Service training.
This presentation is helping everyone on the team learn more about the community we will be serving. This is one of the many ways we are educating ourselves and creating a culture of sensitivity and awareness within our company. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the disability advocacy groups.