Caitlin Dawson

‘Once you label me, you negate me,’ wrote the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard almost two centuries ago. Today, when it comes to seeing personality and individuality as opposed to a disability label, these words hold as much truth as ever. Myths and misconceptions about disability are common and labels can perpetuate negative stereotypes that threaten to completely obscure the actual person and their beliefs and aspirations, quirks and foibles.

‘Names’, a thought-provoking new public service announcement (PSA) from the Stage Door Theatre Troupe, seeks to convey the key message that individuals with disabilities are people first and disability does not define a person. In this poignant PSA, Stage Door actor Greg opens with the statement, “In my life I have been called many names.” He shares the names that have been ascribed to him, so overwhelming that they threaten to obliterate his personhood, but in the end he transcends them.

How? Watch this short film to find out.


Follow us on Twitter @posAbilitiesCA and share this PSA using #labeljarsnotpeople. Here’s a short link to the video to make sharing easy:

Show your support for seeing the person not the label and spread the word to end the word!

This PSA celebrates the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2013. For more information about Vancouver’s official celebration to mark the event, click here.