CLASS - Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at

Report
Disability Culture
Etiquette &
Interaction
Employment Services & Innovations
Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Disability Types
 Sensory Disability
 Physical Disability
 Intellectual/Developmental Disability
 Psychiatric Disability
 Acquired Disability (TBI/SCI)
Employment Services & Innovations
Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Disability Etiquette
 Smile and be friendly.
 Use a normal tone of voice.
 Talk to the person with the disability—NOT
to his aide, coach, or sign language
interpreter.
 When talking with a person in a
wheelchair, sit or kneel to be at eye level.
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Disability Etiquette, cont.
 Do not refer to a person’s disability
unless it is relevant.
 Use “disability” rather than “handicap”
to refer to a person’s disability.
 When referring to a person’s disability,
try to use “people first” language.
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Disability Etiquette, cont.
 Avoid referring to people with disabilities as
“the disabled,” “the blind,” “the epileptics,”
“the retarded,” “a quadriplegic.”
 Avoid negative or sensational descriptions
of a person’s disability.
 Don’t portray people with disabilities as
overly courageous, brave, special, or
superhuman.
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Disability Etiquette, cont.
 Don’t use “normal” to describe people who
don’t have disabilities.
 Never say “wheelchair-bound” or “confined
to a wheelchair.”
 Never assume that a person with a
communication disorder (speech
impediment, hearing loss, motor
impairment) also has a cognitive disability,
such as mental retardation.
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Interacting with a Person Who
Uses a Wheelchair
 Do not push, lean on, or hold onto a person’s
wheelchair unless the person asks you to. The
wheelchair is part of his/her personal space.
 Try to put yourself at eye level when talking with
someone in a wheelchair. Sit or kneel in front of the
person.
 Rearrange furniture or objects to accommodate a
wheelchair before the person arrives.
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Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Interacting with a Person Who
Uses a Wheelchair, cont.
 Offer to tell where accessible restrooms,
telephones, and water fountains are located.
 When giving directions to a person in a wheelchair,
consider distance, weather conditions, and physical
obstacles (curbs, stairs, steep hills, etc.)
 Don’t pet or distract a service dog. The dog is
responsible for its owner’s safety and is always
working. It is not a pet.
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Interacting with a Person Who
Has a Hearing Impairment
 Let the person take the lead in establishing the
communication mode, such as lip-reading, sign
language, or writing notes.
 Talk directly to the person, even when a sign
language interpreter is present.
 If the person lip-reads, face him or her directly,
speak clearly and with a moderate pace.
Continued…
Employment Services & Innovations
Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Interacting with a Person Who
Has a Hearing Impairment, cont.
 Do not position yourself in front of a window or harsh
light, or the person who is deaf or hard of hearing
will have difficulty seeing you.
 With some people, it may help to simplify your
sentences and use more facial expressions and
body language.
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Interacting with a Person Who
Has a Speech Impairment
 Pay attention, be patient, and wait for the person
to complete a word or thought. Do not finish it for
the person.
 Ask the person to repeat what is said if you do not
understand. Tell the person what you heard and
see if it is close to what he or she is saying.
Continued…
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Interacting with a Person Who
Has a Speech Impairment, cont.
 Be prepared for various speech devices or
techniques used to enhance or augment speech.
Don’t be afraid to communicate with someone
who uses an alphabet board, a device that uses
pictures or symbols, or a computer with synthesized
speech.
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Interacting with a Person Who
Has a Visual Impairment
 When greeting the person, identify yourself and
introduce others who may be present.
 Don’t leave the person without excusing yourself first.
 When asked to guide someone with a sight disability,
never push or pull the person. Allow him/her to take
your arm, then walk slightly ahead. Point out doors,
stairs, or curbs, as you approach them.
Continued…
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Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Interacting with a Person Who
Has a Visual Impairment, cont.
 As you enter a room with the person, describe the
layout and location of furniture, etc.
 Be specific when describing the location of objects.
(Ex., “There is a chair three feet from you at eleven
o’clock.”)
 Don’t pet or distract a guide dog. The dog is
responsible for its owner’s safety and is always
working. It is not a pet.
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Interacting with a Person Who
Has a Cognitive Disability
 Keep your communication simple. Rephrase
comments or questions for better clarity.
 Stay focused on the person as she/he responds to
you.
 Allow the person time to tell or show you what he or
she wants.
Employment Services & Innovations
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Natural Supports Websites
 VCU Rehabilitation Training & Support
www.worksupport.com
 Job Accommodation Network
www.askjan.org
 Griffin Hammis
www.griffinhammis.com
Employment Services & Innovations
Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services

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