Disability Etiquette / Communication Considerations

●    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.