People First of Nevada Takes Action at the Legislature
By: Santa Perez
On May 30, 2007 Governor Gibbons signed Person First Respectful Language Law.
The idea for Nevada’s Person First Respectful Language Bill (SB 491) was originated by Utah’s People First. Utah’s initiative was presented at the Nevada People First conference in 2006. People First of Utah had posters and wristbands proclaiming the belief that all verbiage in official state documents and verbal communications relating to people with disabilities will use respectful Person First language. We (People First of Nevada) loved the whole concept and decided to make Respectful Language part of Nevada Law too.
We asked the Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center to help us to write and present this bill to the legislation. The bill states that all legislative documents will use respectful language when referring to people with disabilities. This means that when referring to a person with disability, you put the person FIRST and the disability LAST. We feel that if this is done society will begin looking at people with disabilities as people with gifts and talents that can add value to their communities.
Several members of People First of Nevada went to testify before the Senate and Assembly. For many of our members, this was the first time they had gone to testify at the legislature. We wanted to make the whole state aware of this new bill and decided to emulate People First of Utah by making posters and bookmarks. We received a mini grant of $5,000 for the printing and passed them out to all of our legislators. If you’d like some posters, please contact Travis at (775) 682-9060. A special thank you to NDALC for all their support!!!!