Food for Thought
I’ve been reading some really interesting things about people first language and brokenness and have had some very insightful conversations. I’ve been waiting to get it all clear in my head to present it concisely in one tidy post. The problem is, my head isn’t clear and the topic is complex. So, I’ll throw it out in tidbits.
A friend said that sometimes people outside the disability community just aren’t sure what to say about or to people with disabilities. There seem to be a lot of rules and specific language to use. They’re not particularly helpful if they become a barrier and further isolate people with disabilities. I get that. I’ve always wanted people to just speak to Aidan or to me about Aidan frankly, instead of being afraid and ignoring him. On the other hand, I’ve posted about people first language because I believe it’s important. But like all things in life, there is a needed balance (balance was the idea for my first tattoo that I didn’t get but we can talk about that later). People first language stresses the value of the person before the disability. However, if we get too legalistic about the language, we lose the person to the words. We get caught up in semantics and forgo relationship.
The moral of the story is this: Be kind and do your best and we’ll do the same. And don’t ever ever blog when you’re tired (that should be the second tattoo that I never get and I should put it right on my typing hand).