You play an important part in bringing to light the issues important to people with an intellectual or developmental disability. As the nation’s leading advocate for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD), The Arc wants to work with you to help the public better understand I/DD. We are the leading expert resource for the media, business and government about people with I/DD, including their real abilities, their needs, and the barrier and obstacles they face in their quest to be fully included in society.
Some of the tools we provide to the media include:

·         FAQ’s
·         A Guide to People First Language
·         Public Policy
·         Position Statements on Critical Issues
·         The Arc Alliance Press Kit

You can use this site or contact representatives of The Arc Alliance to get more information about what it means to live with an intellectual or developmental disability, specific diagnoses, the challenges people with I/DD face, the roles played by their family members, caregivers, and community members, our advocacy and public policy work, and the services we provide. We can help you connect with experts in the field and give you necessary information about all aspects of I/DD.

Publicity Guidelines

The Arc Alliance is pleased that your media outlet has taken an interest in our organization and our supports and services. In order to ensure the use of person-first language,help us maintain a consistent brand identity and expand awareness of The Arc Alliance’s supports and services, we ask that you adhere to these publicity guidelines.

  • Always use upper case (capitalize) of the first letter of each word –  The Arc Alliance
  • The correct names of The Arc Alliance’s family of organizatios are:
    • The Arc Alliance Advocacy Services
    • The Arc Alliance Children’s Services
    • The Arc Alliance Foundation
  • When utilizing our logo, please speak with our communications specialist at The Arc Alliance Foundation before the logo is published

We invite you to explore our site, contact our media relations department 610-265-4700 ext 205, become a member, and get involved with The Arc Alliance and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Using Person First Language in Media

Person First Language

Why Should We Use Person-First Language?

  • People who have disabilities live in every community in America.
  • Many labels that are used for disabilities in our society have negative connotations or are misleading.
  • Using these labels contributes to negative stereotypes.
  • Most importantly, individuals with disabilities are PEOPLE FIRST and it is wrong to define people by a disability.

General Guidelines:

  • Do not refer to a person’s disability unless it is relevant to the conversation
  • Use “disability” rather than “handicap” to refer to a person’s disability. Never use “cripple/crippled” in any reference to disability.
  • Avoid referring to people with disabilities as “the disabled.” When referring to a person’s disability, use person-first language.
  • Avoid negative or sensational descriptions of a person’s disability. These portrayals elicit (ex. “a person with a disability” not “a disabled person.”) unwanted sympathy or pity toward people with disabilities.
  • Don’t use “normal” or “able-bodied” to describe people who do not have disabilities.

The following terms should be avoided when speaking to or about a person with a disability:

“retarded” “invalid” “wheelchair-bound” “mongoloid”

“deaf and dumb” “defective” “special person“ “suffers from”

“handicapped” “stricken with” “a patient” “mute”

“victim” “crippled” “afflicted with”

Examples of Person-First Language:

People with disabilities are people who have disabilities.
Not: “the handicapped or disabled”

He/she uses a wheelchair.
Not: “He/she is wheelchair-bound or confined to a wheelchair.”

He/She has a congenital disability.
Not: “He/She has a birth defect.”

Accessible parking or accessible bathrooms
Not: “handicapped parking or handicapped bathrooms”

He/She has a need for …. He/She needs….
Not: “He/She has a problem with…”

He/She has an intellectual disability.
Not: “He/She is retarded.”

For more information or to request an interview Contact us: