How should you interact with people with disability?
Interaction with people with disability requires a touch of cordiality. You have to be careful while interacting with a person having disabilities. People with disability have to be treated carefully and with kindness. It’s common to feel aa bit uncertain while interacting with someone who has a physical, or mental disability but it doesn’t mean you will socialize with them differently. Socializing with people with disability should be no different although you might fear that you will hurt their sentiments by saying something offensive.
Having said this, leading NDIS service provider organizations , Access Foundation provides these tips to help you communicate and interact with people with disability without hurting their sentiments.
So, let us see how to interact with people with disability-
1.Be respectful with them
Always be respectful while talking with people with disability. Treat them with kindness and try to understand their personality. You should treat them the way you want to be treated, that’s the golden rule. Most people with disabilities prefer the first language while interacting with others which puts the name or person before the disability. Therefore, it’s better to use the appropriate first language while interacting with people with disability.
2. Be yourself, present yourself the way you are
People often change the way they speak or their accent while talking with people with disability. This might be because they fear saying or doing something wrong to them. Any disable person is as normal as anyone of us and they like to be treated like normal person. Therefore, it is advisable to be yourself while interacting with them and don’t be pretentious. Just start the conversation as you do with any other person but respectfully.
3. Don’t use offensive terms ever
Offensive terms or labels are offensive and should never be used in a conversation with people with disability, especially in a casual way. Identifying someone by their disability and giving them a label is very unkind and disrespectful as well as hurtful for them. Always be extra careful of the things you say and do around them. Never identify them by their disability instead of their name.
4. Offer them your help politely
It’s okay to offer your help or assistance to people with disability but do it politely. In case you think the person needs help or assistance, always ask politely. Make sure to not over-insist as this can make them feel of their disability even strongly. Be gentle with them and value their decision. Usually, people with disabilities like to be independent so if they turn down your offer of help, don’t let that hinder you from offering your help in the future.
5.Be patient and ask them questions if necessary
While communicating with people with disability , hear them out properly. Don’t cut them off in between as this can be disrespectful. Always let them speak and work at their own pace, without letting them talk, think, or move faster. If you don’t understand them because they’re speaking too slowly or too quickly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask them questions nicely and wait for them to answer your questions, do not rush it.
These were some of the tips that can help you interact with people with disability easily without hurting their sentiments. Communication is the key and you must be careful while communicating with them. Treat them with kindness and be your natural self. Don’t pretend, just stay calm and try to understand them. Remember, they are as normal as anyone and don’t make them feel any different. Be kind, generous, and understanding with them.
Access Foundation has been working in providing supports to people with disability since many years now. It is registered NDIS perth in West Australia that has helped many people with disability till now. Access Foundation has interacted with many people with disability and therefore know how to communicate with them. The tips given above will help in communicating with a person with disability without feeling awkward or anxious. After all, kindness is the key. Being kind makes you a better person so be kind not just with people with disability but with everyone and treat them well.
Hope this blog turned out helpful for you. To know more about Access Foundation, reach out to us.