people-first language

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Alternative forms[edit]

people first language, People-First language, People First language, "people-first" language, "people first" language


US English. Grammatically a nominal phrase "people first" used as a hyphenated adjective modifying "language". As a term advocated by disability rights organizations in the United States from 1988.


  1. politically correct language referring to disabilities by avoiding adjectives or the copula.
    "people first" language, which refers to the person first and the disability second: "Americans with disabilities," for example, rather than "disabled Americans", letter to the editor of BusinessWeek, published in Issue 3059 (1988).[1]