We are People
DDS Self-Advocate Coordinators Launch New Campaign
We are People -Call Me By My Name
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Self Advocate Coordinators (SACs) are unveiling a new initiative, which supports and recognizes “People First Language.”  The We are People –Call Me by My Name campaign is asking for everyone to be called by their given name. The SACs are hoping to eliminate several words; "client", "patient", "ward", "them", "handicapped", and the "R" word - "retarded".
“Some of these terms have been around for a long time and old habits are hard to break,” said Carol Grabbe, South Region SAC. “We are asking everyone to remember to call people by their name and be respectful.” 
The Coordinators are also inviting people to take the Disability Awareness Pledge which reaffirms a
commitment to seeing the person and not the disability. The SACs are challenging each one of us to be the change that makes a difference.
Take the Pledge

Disability Awareness/People First Language Pledge
  • To advocate and accept my responsibility to be respectful to the individuals I work with
    and for.

  • To RESPECT and treat all individuals equally.

  • To Call each person by their name and refer to them as “INDIVIDUALS/PEOPLE” and
    stop using the word “CLIENT”

  • To Support self-advocacy and stand up for individuals’ human rights.

  • To be an advocate for “No More R Word” in my work place and everywhere I go.

  • To Assist and make sure that each person that I work with can make their own choices,
    be part of a community of their choice, and feel accepted to be themselves.

  • I will use People First Language, which means seeing THE person NOT the disability,
    using words and terms that are easier for people to understand.

  • To be an ambassador for Self Advocates, Speak up for People First Language, and Be
    the voice for change that makes peoples’ lives happen!

  • To the best of my ability I solemnly swear to live by the this pledge.