People-first language conveys respect for the individual by emphasizing the fact that they are more than their disability. First and foremost they are people.
People-first language examples include: (a) students with learning disabilities (rather than learning disabled students) and (b) students with exceptionalities (rather than special needs students).
Instead of defining people primarily by their disability, people-first language conveys respect by emphasizing the fact that people with disabilities are first and foremost just that—people.
Snow, K. (2007). People first language. Disability is natural.