Person First Language: Think Before you Speak



Credit: .1 CEU

Speakers: Tamara Kittelson, MS, OTR/L, ATP/SMS and Jenny Siegle

All Levels, Ethics, Best Business Practice, ATP/SMS Prep Content



Do you think before you speak? Expand the communication skills you use when interacting with clients/patients and customers. Spend an hour with a wheelchair rider, clinician, and mother, sharing about person first language. Learn how to speak about and to people without labelling them in negative ways. Gain confidence in your everyday interactions with people who are more than their disability!

Tamara is an occupational therapist and RESNA Assistive Technology Professional/Seating and Mobility Specialist. She directed the Montana Postural Care Project, funded by the Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities, and leads Eleonore’s Project, promoting postural care and responsible wheelchair provision in low resource settings. Tamara has written and presented on these topics in the United States, Canada, Peru and Colombia. She currently works part-time for Moving Mountains Therapy Center in Missoula and has served individuals with complex neurodisabilities in Montana since 1983. She credits her daughter Eleanore, born with cerebral palsy and profound deafness, as her best teacher.

Jenny Siegle was paralyzed at nine of months age from Transverse Myelitis.  She is a producer for Altitude Sports in Denver, Colorado. In addition to her productions that air on Altitude Sports, her work has landed in various publications and digital platforms. Jenny works as a replay operator for the Colorado Rockies as well.  She was Ms. Wheelchair Colorado in 2004, enjoys public speaking and is a disability advocate. Jenny graduated with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Northern Colorado in 2004.  She currently drives and lives independently in her own home.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will be able to define key elements of person first language.

Participants will be able to describe how to differentiate between a person and their condition.

Participants will be able to list three examples of person-first language.