Exceptional Services Group, L.L.C., 866-
Before The Disability”
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Disability Etiquette -
Disability Etiquette is the preferred way of communication and interaction with or in regards to an individual with a disability. Here are 5 Basic Guidelines to follow when interacting with someone with a disability.
1) Always refer to a person with a disability as a "person with a disability". Do not say "disabled person" or "handicapped". Words such as these suggest the person is their condition. In fact a person with a disability simply has a functional limitation that interferes with their ability to walk, hear, talk, learn, etc.
2) Speak directly to a person with a disability. Make eye contact and listen to them. If you are talking to someone using a wheelchair for more than a few minutes you may want to grab a chair so that you can talk eye to eye. Do not make assumptions about what the individual can or cannot do. Adults should be treated in a manner befitting adults, regardless of their disability.
3) Do not feel obligated to act as a caregiver to someone with a disability. You may offer assistance by simply asking, "May I help you with that?" If they need help, they will accept it.
4) Any adaptive equipment a person with a disability uses should be treated as part of their body space. For example, it is considered rude to lean on someone's wheelchair.
5) Focus on an individual's abilities and achievements. Emphasize the worth of all individuals rather than their differences.