Person-First Language

Person-First Language 

For centuries, the way in which we communicate about people with disabilities has often been driven by professionals, physicians, and others who were not part of the disability community. In recent decades, disability advocates have made the push for person-first language, which recognizes an individual before their disability or diagnosis. This course will provide an in-depth understanding of person-first language, why disability advocates and professionals in disability services prefer person-first language, as well as other ways people with disabilities may choose to identify themselves and the services they receive. This course is appropriate for anyone working with individuals with disabilities or in a disability-service organization.


Hours: 1.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (4 Match)

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals


This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (ALL Direct Care Workers)


Relias Learning, LLC is approved as a Curriculum Developer by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours for all WA State Direct Care Workers. Training Provider Code: WA0624. CE Approval Code: CO1832326

Non-Licensed Direct Care (DSP, HHA, CNA, DCW, PCA, IHA, NA)


California Department of Social Services Group Homes


Relias, LLC is approved by the California Department of Social Services as a Continuing Education Program Vendor to provide Continuing Education training courses to administrators of Group Homes.

Vendor/Provider # : 2000224-730-2
Approval # 224-0143-30150

This activity is approved by the California Department of Social Services for 1.00 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-IDD-0-DSPCCMS-2
Hours: 1
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 7/31/2023
Learning Objectives:
Describe the elements of person-first language.
Recognize the ways person-first language shapes how we communicate with and about individuals with disabilities.
Practice using person-first language and distinguish appropriate use of descriptive language regarding people with disabilities.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Person-First Language A. What Would You Say? B. What is Person-First Language? C. Why Use Person-First Language? D. Language Shapes Us E. Language Follows a Model F. Review G. Summary Section 3: Using Person-First Language A. Using Person-First Language B. Disability vs. Handicap C. Describing Disability D. Euphemisms E. Meet Winifred F. Language Describing Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) G. Language Describing Physical Disabilities H. Language Describing Sensory and Communication Disabilities I. Language Describing Mental Health Disabilities J. Language Describing Health Conditions and Other Disabilities K. Gray Areas in Person-First Language L. Review M. Summary Section 4: Conclusion A. Summary B. Course Contributors C. Resources D. References E. Congratulations! F. Exam

Instructor: Nellie Galindo, MSW, MSPH
Nellie Galindo received her Masters of Social Work and Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked with individuals with disabilities in several different settings, including working as a direct service provider for individuals with mental illness and leading a youth program for young adults with disabilities. She has facilitated and created trainings for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the areas of self-advocacy, healthy relationships, sexual health education, and violence and abuse prevention. Mrs. Galindo has worked in state government assisting individuals with disabilities obtain accessible health information in their communities, as well as utilizing the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure equal access to healthcare services. Disclosure: Nellie Galindo, MSW, MSPH has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Entry, Intermediate level Direct Support Professionals; in the following settings: Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.