Do you find yourself using the acronym PWD whenever you encounter a person with disability?

For many years, we are used to coining acronyms to simplify long and complex words that needed repetition in papers and our daily lives. Say, National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA) or Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), we normally use these acronyms to identify government offices, institutions, and organizations, and even places and things to shorten the phrases.

An acronym, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is a word formed out of the first letters of phrases or groups of words or titles. It is used to avoid repeating lengthy phrases we often use in our everyday language. It is used for clarity and space, to avoid long sentences; but this does not apply to people, especially marginalized and vulnerable groups.

Person-first Language

According to Handicap International and the NCDA, our existing laws emphasize the importance of proper usage of terms when referring to a person or people with disabilities.

“Republic Act 9442 has adapted the term person with disability (or people with disabilities for plural) which follows the Person or People-first Language,” Handicap International Philippines puts in their Basic Guide to Disability Identification manual. “It states that people with disabilities must be addressed by their names, or called persons first, not by their impairments.

Leave a Comment