March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month, and Wayne ARC wants to share some awesome stories, videos, and photos with you throughout March to celebrate people of ALL abilities.
Each week throughout the month we are promoting different national social media campaigns, sharing videos of individuals we serve in our community, and visiting schools to teach others how to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. We would like to begin with informing everyone of how to use "People First Language."
People First Language places emphasis on the person, not his or her disability. For example, we should say, "she has a disability" instead of "she is disabled." This makes her disability just one component of her person instead of being her whole identity.
Using better language is a small first step in the right direction for better inclusion of people with disabilities. For this reason, we chose to highlight the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign first. Eliminating the word "retard" from our vocabulary to describe someone is crucial. This word is hurtful, derogatory, and offensive to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are people just like everyone else, and they deserve the same level of respect. We encourage everyone to sign the pledge and vow to respect people with disabilities.
Check out this article if you would like to read about this from John Franklin Stevens' point of view. Thank you for your support in this effort to respect others!
Jessica Blondell, our Development Coordinator, and Nicole Mauro, PR Assistant, write all of our blog posts to keep everyone who supports The Arc Wayne up-to-date with what the agency is doing in the community. Enjoy!