A Word About Language & Lexicon, Privilege & Pride
I do not live with a disability right now.
I cannot ever, in good conscience speak to the lived experience of people with disabilities.
The most useful work I can do as an ally is to represent the issues that serve to objectify, isolate, stigmatize and ameliorate people with disabilities.
I can also support people with disabilities to tell their own stories. Good organizations do it all the time, at every turn, with every opportunity.
There…I did it again. I used person-first language. (You will note that is my go-to position-on my blog and in most of my day-to day writing). What I am learning however is that there is more than one path in this regard.
I’m using the LAL method of learning in this journey.
L – Listen to how people refer to themselves,
A – Ask how a person would like to be represented,
L – Listen again, deeply, and with an open heart, doing your best to set aside your own bias, to their answer and to their stories, and then truly honour their choice.
Identity First language can be a profound expression of pride and the manifestation of self-determination.
I love how you never run out of things to learn in this work.
It’s a road and Inclusive Humanity is on it.
And in the immortal words of Ronald Dahl for heavens sakes… “Don’t gobblefunk around with words”
– Krista J. Davidson-Flint