● Focus on the person, not their disability
● Do not assume an individual needs assistance. Approach, Ask, Assist.
○ Approach: if you suspect someone may need a hand, walk up, greet them and identify yourself.
○ Ask: "Would you like some help?" The person will accept your offer or tell you if they don't require assistance.
○ Assist: listen to the reply and assist as requested. Don't be offended if your assistance is not required.
● Talk directly to the individual, not the interpreter, companion or attendant.
● Be polite in greeting.
● Listen carefully, wait to reply until the individual is finished speaking.
● Be sensitive about physical contact and space. Never touch anyone or anything that belongs to them without asking first.
● Respect an individual’s privacy.
● Do not make a decision on behalf of a person with a disability regarding what they can/cannot do.
● Place yourself at eye level when speaking with an individual that uses a wheelchair for more than a minute or two.