People-first language, also referred to as person-first language, is a way of communicating that highlights the individual instead of their condition or characteristics.

The main objective is to promote respect, dignity, and inclusivity when referring people with disabilities, medical conditions, or other differences. People-first language prioritizes the person over their condition or identity, emphasizing the individual before the descriptor.

For instance, instead of saying "a disabled person," people-first language would encourage saying "a person with a disability." The idea is to recognize the person first and then refer to their specific condition or characteristic.

This language change aims to eliminate stereotypes, reduce stigma, and encourage a more positive and respectful attitude towards people with diverse abilities or characteristics. This concept is widely accepted in conversations about disabilities, mental health, and other areas where individuals may face societal biases or misconceptions.

For more information on person-first language, visit the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities website.

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