Tips For Interacting With People With Disabilities

On behalf of Jeffrey Rabin of Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates, Ltd. posted in General on Wednesday, July 19, 2017.

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According to the National Organization on Disability (AOD), more than 54 million Americans have a disability. It is not uncommon to feel a bit uncertain when interacting with someone who has a physical, intellectual, or sensory disability. Interacting with someone with a disability should be no different than any other social interaction. Be respectful and treat others the way you would like to be treated. If you’re not familiar with a given disability, you might fear that you may say or do something that could be offensive. As your Social Security lawyer in Rockford, we have compiled a list of tips for the appropriate way to interact with people with disabilities.

  1. Do not push or touch someone’s wheelchair. It’s important that you respect their personal space. You wouldn’t want someone touching your purse or briefcase.
  2. Be aware of an individual’s reach limits. Try not to place items as out of their grasp.
  3. When communicating with a person in a wheelchair, grab a chair and sit at their level. If that isn’t possible, stand a slight distance away so that they are not straining their neck to see you.
  4. People who are blind often need their arms for balance, offer your arm – don’t take theirs if they need to be guided.
  5. If the person uses a guide dog, walk on the side opposite the dog. As you are walking with them describe the setting and make note of any obstacles, such as stairs.
  6. Do not touch a person’s cane or guide dog.
  7. If you are serving food to someone who is blind, let them know exactly what is on their plate.
  8. Follow a person’s cue to find out if they prefer sign language, writing, speaking, or gesturing.
  9. When communicating with someone who uses a sign language interpreter, look directly at the person who is deaf, and maintain eye contact to be polite.
  10. When someone is using a hearing aid, there is no need to shout.
  11. If someone has a speech disability give them your full attention. Don’t interrupt or finish the sentence for them. If you have trouble understanding, nod and ask them to repeat.
  12. Don’t use baby talk or talk down to someone who has developmental disabilities. Take note of their pace and vocabulary and adjust accordingly.
  13. Don’t assume someone who has a disability needs help. People with disabilities are the best judge of what they can or cannot do. Do not make decisions for them. Ask before you act.

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Have a question? Talk to our team your local Social Security lawyer in Rockford. Call us today at (847) 299-0008.

Courtesy of: United Spinal Association

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