Quick Hits 21 May 2014
Top Ten Tips on disability etiquette
10. Remember that people aren’t defined by their disability. Use “people-first” language. For example, “person with a disability,” not “disabled person..
9. Use the term “accessible parking” instead of “handicapped parking.”
8. Don’t assume that someone needs or wants assistance, even if they appear to be struggling. It’s always wise to ask.
7. Avoid negative, dis- empowering words, such as “victim” or “sufferer.”
6. Be sensitive about physical contact. Don’t lean on wheelchairs. Don’t grasp the hand or arm of a visually impaired person; instead, offer your arm to the individual.
5. Avoid outdated terms: “handicapped,” “crippled,” “retarded,” etc.
4. Speak directly to the person, not to their companion or their sign language interpreter.
3. Don’t touch or distract service animals without permission. The animal may be adorable, but it is on the job.
2. Relax. Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use common expressions such as “See you later,” or “Did you hear about that?” that seem to relate to a person’s disability.
1. Ask questions when you’re unsure of what to do. Treat all people with dignity, respect, and courtesy.