Political Issues & People First Language


Political Issues & People First Language

People First Language

Words have influence and with every use can either empower or limit a person with Down syndrome. See and speak of the person first – this is their identity. Down syndrome is what they have, not who they are; it does not define their personality and cannot predict their lifelong potential.

People-first Language is the conscious effort to empower and accurately communicate about  a person or people with Down syndrome.

The mindful use of People First Language establishes an atmosphere of acceptance and it shows an awareness that appropriately talking about an individual with Down syndrome is the first step of Advocacy

When writing or speaking about people with Down syndrome, it is important to put the person first. This applies to every age and situation.

  • A baby or child with Down syndrome.
  • A teenager or adult with Down syndrome.
  • A person with Down syndrome.
  • An individual with Down syndrome.
  • A boy or girl with Down syndrome.
  • A woman or man with Down syndrome.


Group designations such as "Down syndrome people," or "Downs kid" are inappropriate because they do not reflect the individuality, equality or dignity of people with Down syndrome.

  • Individuals with Down syndrome
  • People with Down syndrome
  • Babies or Children with Down syndrome
  • Teens or Adults with Down syndrome


Visit these worthy sites regarding this effort:

The Inclusion Project 

End the R-Word!