The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Annie’s message

January 29, 2021


Owatonna Public Schools Facebook

OHS junior Annie Thurnau in a video posted to Facebook on Jan. 15 to advocate for Person First Day

It means that I am recognized as Annie first and not my disabilities first.

— Annie Thurnau

As previously mentioned, on Person First Day this year, Olson shared two videos of Thurnau on Facebook. The first of these videos focuses on Person First Day, including why it is celebrated and more information about the use of person first language. On what Person First Day means to her, Thurnau said, “It means that I am recognized as Annie first and not my disabilities first.” In the second video, Thurnau discusses why inclusion is important and what it means to her. She also explains what ableism is and how people can combat it. In the video, Thurnau said, “Inclusion is learning alongside my peers in more general education classes with teachers who are willing to be learners too.” 

On what inspired her to share these messages, Thurnau said, “Mr. Kist, Mrs. Olson and my family inspired me to share my story so that others can learn more about inclusion and share my message.” These videos have made an impact on many people and are a great way to learn about Person First Day, person first language, ableism and how students can promote inclusion in their schools and communities. On the extent of the impact of these videos, Olson said, “I think it is huge. So many people reached out for us to share. And then from there they shared and their friend shared and people who don’t even know her reached out even to Annie to share and to learn more about what person first language is.” To learn more about Person First Day and the fight against ableism, visit this website.

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