People-first language is a type of linguistic prescription to avoid marginalization or dehumanization (either conscious or subconscious) when discussing people with a health issue or disability. People-First Language is an objective and respectful way to speak about people with disabilities by emphasizing the person first, rather than the disability. It acknowledges what a person has, and recognizes that a person is not the disability. In putting the person before the disability, People-First Language highlights a person's value, individuality and capabilities.
When words alone define a person, the result is a label—a label that often reinforces barriers created by negative and stereotypical attitudes. Every individual deserves to be treated with dignity and respect—regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, hair color, or anything else.
When referring to individuals with disabilities, be considerate when choosing your words. Focus on the person—and never use terms that label, generalize, stereotype, devalue or discriminate. Unless it is relevant to the conversation, you don't even need to refer to or mention the disability.