The considered use of language is often mocked as political correctness gone mad. When you look at it up close it is more like a kind of powerful magic at your fingertips, with the power to do good or ill.

In today’s podcast, Joanna Grace joins Dale to discuss ‘Identity First Language and Belonging’. The autistic community reject person first language (person with autism) in favour of identity first language (autistic person). As a doctoral researcher studying identity and belonging Joanna is fascinated by the power of identity for people.

Understanding the link between identity and belonging can inspire us to embrace reflective use of language and to advocate for change. Very often teachers and other professionals are the people who gift terminology to others, gatekeepers to what can seem like a world of jargon. Listen to understand that the choices we make with our language can shape the lives of those we teach in extraordinary ways.  

About Joanna Grace

Joanna Grace is a sensory engagement and inclusion specialist, doctoral researcher, author, trainer, TEDx speaker and Founder of The Sensory Projects.  

Joanna has worked with people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent conditions aged from 0-100 (well 1 day old – 87 years old to be precise) in a range of settings and context. 

Through all she does Joanna is seeking to contribute to a future where people are understood in spite of their differences. 

Contact Joanna Grace

Useful Links

Books – My Mummy is Autistic and The Subtle Spectrum

Joanna also runs a course called Exploring the Impact of the Senses on Behaviour both online and as an in person event. has more details.

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