PWLD – what does this say to you?
Do you understand that it refers to people, human beings, sons, daughters, sisters. brothers…et al.
How ought we to refer to the rest of the population, those without learning disabilities? PWLD (people without learning disabilities) would you understand that, indeed would you like to be labelled as such?
PWLD is how ‘People With Learning Disabilities’ are referred to on an NHS website (link below). They ask the question: PWLD do YOU understand (their emphasis on ‘you’) and the letters PWLD are a main feature on the home page.
While I understand that the website in question is intended to be useful / helpful / informative / supportive I do take issue with their use of ‘PWLD’.
Although we are all aware that to access services you really do need a ‘label’ (just try accessing them without and see how far you get) is it really fair and just, not to mention being downright patronising, to refer to people by a series of letters? Do people with learning disabilities not deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity that we would all hope for?
PWLD do YOU understand?