Back in the 80's I too was constrained to using people first forms in a
guide I published, that's history and at the time it was all up for grabs so
far as debate goes, but times have moved on.
Anyway with regard to acquired impairments I guess I shall have to quote
"The maltster's lack of teeth appeared not to sensibly diminish his powers
as a mill. He had been without them for so many years that toothlessness was
felt less to be a defect than hard gums an acquisition."
That is essentially to say we are all embodied beings, however cerebral we
may count ourselves. If I were to lose a foot tomorrow for example, that
would not mean I lost a part of "me" but it would mean that in true
Heraclitan fashion I become a new me, as indeed I do every morning when I
Anyway, looking at this daftness, For many years now I have been a person
without parents. As to my parents they are people who have acquired
mortality. They are people with death, I can't say they died now can I, far
too offensive for sensitive ears :)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: The Disability-Research Discussion List [mailto:DISABILITY-
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Allan Sutherland
> Sent: 03 October 2012 11:09
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: People first language
> I now use 'disabled first' language, but when I wrote 'Disabled We Stand'
> 1980-1 I used the term 'disabled people', which was the current usage
> of the Liberation Network of People with Disabilities.
> Back then, the term was not being used in opposition to 'disabled people',
but to terms
> such as 'the disabled', which were seen to be demeaning and
depersonalising. Both the
> forms under discussion now are what one might call 'people plus'. I'm not
sure that it
> matters hugely which one uses, though 'people first' usages can become
> It's awkward to refer to, for example, 'People with Deafness'. The form
leads one to
> finding a noun where an adjective would be stylistically more appropriate.
> That siad, it might be worth mentioning that a woman with whom I used to
> Disability Equality Training reckoned that 'people first' usages
> by people who have acquired disabilities and want to emphasise that the
> has not made them a different person.
> Best wishes
> Allan Sutherland
> 'Neglected Voices', four cycles of transcription poems by Allan
Sutherland, based on
> interviews with disabled people.
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