Zoe Troxell Whitman

‘Currently, many disability-based communities are pushing for a shift in the language used to describe disability away from “person first” language and towards “identity or disability first” language. In the course of my 2016-2017 research with Marco, we are examining how these two forms of language differentially relate to disabled individuals’ relationships with disability, as well as to the nondisabled community’s’ attitude formation towards those with disabilities. In order to do this, we are conducting two studies, one correlational and the other experimental, in the hopes that these results will speak to each other and inform our understanding of politically correct language and the implications it may have on a day-to-day basis, as well as on language policy and the disability rights movement.’

Dissertation title: Disability Language, Does it Matter? Linguistic expression of Disability Identity and Attitude Formation: A Bidirectional Approach with Disabled and Non-disabled Participants