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How To Interact With People With Disability

Interaction with a person with disability always require a touch of cordiality. If you haven’t verbally encountered someone with a disability, you might feel wondering over the best possible way to interact with them.

To be honest, there is no ‘actual’ way to interact with someone with disability. It generally comes down to the individual’s preferences.

Having said that, the leading Registered NDIS Provider in Sydney: OSAN Ability Assist provides four important tips to help you feel more confident in speaking to people with a disability.

Be Yourself Before Them

People often change the way of their talking or representation before a person with disability. Most of this because they apprehend of saying or doing something wrong to them.

Taking this into consideration, however, any disabled person would like to be treated as the normal persons are. Thus, we advise you to be just what you are. Don’t be pretentious; just start the conversation with a casual “hello” or a handshake.

Interact Normally

As human beings, we have a wide range of ways we communicate with others regardless of whether we live have a disability or not.

When talking to someone with disability, you might feel tempted to adjust your language, pace, tone and volume.

Making assumptions about a person’s level of cognition, however can potentially offend them.

Just speak to the person as you normally would and if you find your usual way of communication isn’t working, try to figure out alternative forms of communicating that works for the both of you.

Politely Offer Them Your Help or Assistance

In case you reckon that a person with disability needs help, always ask politely.  Never over-insist. This can make them feel of their disability more strongly. Usually, people with disability like to be as independent as possible. So, if you offer them politely, they would know what you can do to support them.

However, If the person turns down the offer, don’t let that hinder you from offering them a helping hand in the future.

Respect Their Personal Property

We must keep in mind that most people with disability see their assisting props/instruments like wheelchair, tripod sticks or mobility vehicle as a part of themselves. Thus, as a disability support worker we would advise you to avoid leaning on a person’s mobility aid or wheelchair, or attempting to drive their chair. This might so it is not appropriate to make contact or touch the wheelchair without permission.

The same applies to people with vision impairment who use a guide dog. Be aware that when you see a guide dog it is likely to be working, so patting or interacting with the dog will not be appreciated. This also applies for people who use communication devices. If in doubt, ask the owner.

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