Learn about language

Language helps shape how we see the world and the people around us. It’s important to understand that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to language. Here at the AFL, we aim to use language that’s respectful to everyone, so we’d like to outline our approach to language through the two topics listed.

A person should always be referred to by their name, first and foremost. When it comes to talking about disability, everyone has their own language preferences. Some people prefer person-first language, which puts the focus on the person, not the disability (eg. ‘person on the autism spectrum’). Other people prefer identity-first language for disability, which can help people to claim their disability with pride (eg. ‘autistic person’). We use a mix of both approaches, as we acknowledge that language is a personal preference and don’t want to offend anyone, or appear insensitive. But, the best approach is to always use the person’s name.

While there are lots of ways to refer to children, we use the term ‘young people’ when referring to Auskick players. When we use the terms ‘parent’ and ‘family’, we’re referring to all primary caregivers and don’t mean to exclude anyone responsible for a young person’s primary care.

AllPlay Footy is a joint initiative by Monash University and the AFL. AllPlay Footy was founded at Deakin University in 2015 and has been part of Monash Education since 2021. The AllPlay Footy content and resources presented here have been developed with people with lived experience of disability, consultants from National Sporting Organisations for People with Disability, psychologists and researchers, and are brought to you with funding from a Department of Social Services Information, Linkages and Capacity Building: Social and Community Participation Stream (2020-2024) grant. We aim to use language that is respectful to everyone.