R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Being Respectful To Individuals With Disabilities
Along with the physical and/or mental challenges that often go along with living with a disability, disabled individuals oftentimes must face social challenges as well. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to treat a disabled person, and may talk down to the person or make incorrect assumptions about him or her.
The following are some tips to help you communicate better and more respectfully with disabled individuals in your life:
- Don’t judge or assume anything about a person’s disability. Just because someone is in a wheelchair, that doesn’t mean he or she is paralyzed, and just because a person has a speech impediment doesn’t mean he or she has a brain impairment.
- Speak directly to the person and look him or her in the eyes when speaking.
- If you don’t understand what the person says, don’t pretend that you do. It’s ok to ask again for clarification.
- Respect personal space and do not lean on a wheelchair or walker or touch a service animal unless you receive permission to do so.
- Don’t patronize.
- Exercise patience.
- Don’t be afraid to offer assistance, but do not insist or be offended if your offer is not accepted.
- Do not assume the person cannot participate in an activity. Always give him or her the benefit of the doubt. You may be surprised!
For a downloadable resource sheet on tips to show respect and courtesy to individuals with disabilities, click here.
Always remember you manners! Courtesy and respect are important when communicating with disabled individuals, and the caregivers at Genacta Home Care are skilled at caring for people with a variety of disabilities. Contact us today in the Anchorage area to learn more about our home care services.