Cultural Considerations: Disability Culture & People-first Language

When advocating for a child with a disability, it is important to be considerate of how you talk about, and to, that child. In general, we should use language that puts the person first and does not define them by their disability – and when in doubt, respectfully ask the child if they have language around their disability that they prefer. To the best of our ability, we should avoid using phrases and language that:

  • isolates these children from those without disabilities,
  • is pitying or sentimental, or
  • is otherwise insensitive or disrespectful.

“A child with a disability is first or foremost a child. When talking about children or adults with disabilities, put the person first, and only refer to the disability if it is relevant.”

You can read about disability culture, browse resources on people-first language and more on SAFE’s new website – Promoting Justice: Responding to Abuse Against Children with Disabilities.

Texas CASA is committed to our goal of ensuring the highest quality advocacy possible for all children in the child protection system, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, or disability status – that’s why we are now highlighting resources to support the CASA network’s journey to becoming more inclusive, welcoming, affirming and culturally considerate. Explore more Cultural Considerations articles.