Many Disability Advocacy organizations are heavily pushing person first language and as an Autistic Person (or as they wan’t to say person with Autism) I think its just really a waste of time. Person first language really accomplishes absolutely nothing and when I’m talking about Autism or telling someone I’m autistic I say “I’m autistic”. I’m also blue eyed, not a person with blue eyes, and a balding person too – not a person with a hair line that is receding.
My thoughts on why disability advocacy agencies are pushing first person language is its something tangible that can be heavily seen that to people without disabilities looks very good and helps them raise funds. Most of their disability advocacy work is not able to be shown in the public spotlight due to confidentiality.
However I’m sick of some of the professional advocates getting all irritated at me scolding to me when I refer to myself as “I’m Autistic”. These people that do this typical don’t have a disability and are telling me I need to refer to myself a certain way. Heh – that annoys me. Making me use first person language of my Autism also makes me feel like I should be ashamed of my Autism.
Others with various disabilities that think first person language is not a great idea
- Jim Sinclair on Autism and First Person Language
- The US National Federation for the Blind
- The World Federation of the Deaf