Tuesday, October 7, 2014

31 for 21: Talking Down syndrome

The 31 for 21 blog challenge continues with Teaching Tuesday:

Do you understand person first language?

Let's check:

What's wrong with these sentences?
-The Down syndrome boy is so nice.
-The Downs kids are having a party.

Did you catch it? It should be obvious, but in case it wasn't...
The corrected versions are:
-The boy with Down syndrome is so nice.
-The kids with Down syndrome are having a party.

The corrected version puts the people first and the disability label second. Some people think this isn't important, but it is. It shows respect. Yes, it is important to show respect to those with Down syndrome! It shows the person is more important than the label. It shows that you see the person, first and foremost, as a person. Also, you shouldn't shorten Down syndrome to Downs.

This is how one should talk about Down syndrome and this is how one should phrase things when writing about Down syndrome.

Class dismissed.  See you tomorrow.

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