Alexadra Da Fonte, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of the Practice
Department of Special Education
People First will be an exploration into the lives of students with disabilities and the “People First” movement. First and foremost, this movement includes People First Language, officially defined as a form oflinguistic prescriptivism whose goal is to avoid subconscious dehumanization in areas concerning people with disabilities. Often in our society, students with disabilities are segregated from others. Apart from doctors, teachers, specialists and family members, most people rarely have the opportunity to interact with people who have disabilities. Due to this rare interaction, people with disabilities are often stereotyped and defined by their disabilities while many of their other characteristics are overlooked. People First Language is a way of acknowledging a person’s disability, but not defining him/her by it. For example, People First Language would say “person with disabilities” instead of “disabled person.” Our Mayfield intends to explore this language in the context of students with disabilities but also on our campus and in ourselves.