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Disability and Identity

Posted on February 8, 2018

I hate people who are clueless about a topic but still decides to stick their head in and judge.  I hate how they behave like they know how others feel and start babbling their thoughts out loud.  Society should never be the one who dictates how a group of people desires to be labeled.  Words have meanings and it can mean various of things to different people.  Words also have orders in which they are used in a phrase and this can also influence the nuance of the statement.  Throughout her writing, Ladau explores the true meaning of being disabled and how
“Language is never a “one-size-fits-all”” – Emily Ladau.  As discussed in earlier writings, it is very hard to predict what a person prefers being called; using PFL to someone can be rude when it can be polite and appropriate for someone else.  Ladau has been a disabled person herself and she understands her disability as just a fact of her life.  She has encountered many people who didn’t appreciate the fact that people are judging that they want to be addressed in a person-first-language.  On the other hand, Fernandes, Debarros, and Li conducted an experiment where the results came out as using person-first-language can be detrimental in living a happy life in society now days.  Because so many people are uneducated, this created a social stigma about epilepsy when people with epilepsy were labeled epileptics.  Fernandes, Debarros, and Li all recommended using Identity-first-language because of the results which supported greater suffrage by people who were labeled epileptics rather than people who were labeled people with epilepsy.  I personally agree to Ladau’s perspective where switching back and forth between person-first-language and identity-first-language while addressing people by the way they prefer is the truest form of disability acceptance.  


  1. rseaman

    An interesting perspective, but I have a few suggestions. One, I thought the study conducted by the three coauthors actually endorsed the Person-First Language in reference to the self and that the Identity-First Language was the one with detrimental effects. Secondly, the way you started your blog was more in the form of a rant. While this can be appropriate sometimes, it might be better to rant with a little flare (humorous over-exaggerated analogies or metaphors might be more appropriate). I mean, if you want to rant in a paper, it may be best to take a more original route of going about it. Also, it might be a good idea to avoid insulting any possible audience that tries reading this, for example when you said “many people are uneducated” and “people who are clueless about a topic but still decides to stick their head in and judge”. Problem is, when you do this, you demonize the audience you want to reach. Overall though, not a terrible essay.

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