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Why do you say ‘person with an intellectual disability’ instead of ‘intellectually disabled person,’ or ‘special needs?’Category: General
The term ‘person with an intellectual disability’ comes from people with an intellectual disability themselves who believe that, “labels are for jars, not people.” People with an intellectual disability do not want to be defined by their disability. We all have gifts, talents and abilities and we do not want to be limited from expressing these gifts because of a label.
If you meet a person with an intellectual disability, the first thing you should say is, “Hello.” People with an intellectual disability are people first and want to be regarded as such, so if you see someone with an intellectual disability, you should treat that person as just that, a person.
NBACL does not charge a fee for the supports we provide, therefore we do not refer to the people we supports as clients, rather we refer to children and adults with an intellectual disability as people.
An intellectual disability (also commonly referred to as a developmental disability among other terms) is, simply stated, a disability that significantly affects one’s ability to learn and use information. It is a disability that is present during childhood and continues throughout one’s life. A person who has an intellectual disability is capable of participating effectively in all aspects of daily life, but sometimes requires more assistance than others in learning a task, adapting to changes in tasks and routines, and addressing the many barriers to participation that result from the complexity of our society. Examples of an intellectual disability might include someone who has Down Syndrome, Autism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or another label, however, there are people with an intellectual disability may not have a medical diagnosis.