Disabilit and accessibility
Do not say disabled people

People with disabilitiesExplain disabilities in peopleKinds of disabilities with peopleCauses of disabilitiesAccessibility and DisabilitiesBullying and discriminating people with impairmentsDisability, what to say and what not to say


Do not say handicapped people

How to relate to people with disabilities

The progress made in society about disability is largely due to education, information and support by communities. One good thing is that people have come to appreciate that it was wrong to call people with disabilities names and keep them away from society. People with disability are very human, just like everyone else. Below are a few tips on some of the things you can learn to say and not to say about people with disability.

People First Language
Generally, refer to the person first, before the disability. This is known as People First Language. For example,

Say: People with disability, NOT Disabled People
Say: A lady with hearing loss, NOT A deaf and dumb person.
Say: People who use wheelchairs, NOT Wheelchair-bound people.
Say: Accessible parking, NOT Handicapped parking.
Say: He has autism, NOT The autistic boy.

International symbol of accessCourtesy and respect
You probably have seen this symbol before — the blue and white symbol on your left. It is the
International Symbol of Access (ISA). All over the world, the symbol is used to indicate that there are improved facilities for people with disabilities. It is used on car parks, public bathrooms and so on. It is important that you respect the symbol and do not interfere with it if you do not have a disability. Show respect by keeping places with the symbol free from barriers and obstruction.

Here are a few other things you can note when you interact with people with disability.

respecting poeple with disabilitiesIt is OK to offer a person with a disability some assistance, but ask before, and wait for them to accept it first. Then ask how you can best assist.

respecting poeple with disabilitiesAddress or call people with disability by the same way you call everyone else. If you use first names, then use their first name.

respecting poeple with disabilitiesIf you are introduced to a person with a disability and you want to shake hands, feel free to offer to shake hands. Using the left hand is also fine, if their disability does not allow them to use their right hand.

respecting poeple with disabilitiesTreat adults with disabilities as adults.

respecting poeple with disabilitiesSpeak directly to the person with a disability. Do not be shy or afraid. If you cannot hear them (especially for people with speech impairment), it is ok to ask for the answer to be repeated. You can also repeat what you hear and ask if you got it right.

respecting poeple with disabilitiesDo not hold or play with equipment that people with disabilities use, such as hearing aids, glasses, wheelchairs, white sticks and so on. These things are part of their personal space and you should respect that.

respecting poeple with disabilitiesDo not touch, feed or play with specially trained dogs or animals for people with disability

back to introduction to disability


Some reading/research sources for this lesson included:
WORLD REPORT ON DISABILITY: http://www.unicef.org/protection/World_report_on_disability_eng.pdf
The Social Model of Disability, By Grant Carson: http://www.ukdpc.net/site/images/library/Social%20Model%20of%20Disability2.pdf
A HANDBOOK ON MAINSTREAMING DISABILITY: http://www.asksource.info/pdf/33903_vsomainstreamingdisability_2006.pdf
DISABILITY ETIQUETTE: https://www.unitedspinal.org/pdf/DisabilityEtiquette.pdf
About Disability: https://www.health.wa.gov.au/publications/daip/training_package/fscommand/Disability.pdf
Types of Disabilities: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/735/files/avw-02-types%20of%20disabilities.pdf
TYPES OF DISABILITY: http://www.includelebanon.org/pdf/types.pdf
A Brief Introduction to Disabilities: http://trace.wisc.edu/docs/population/briefintro.pdf
Disability Statistics 2014 Annual Report: http://www.disabilitycompendium.org/docs/default-source/2014-compendium/annual-report.pdf
Communicating Effectively With People Who Have A Disability: https://www.labor.state.ny.us/workforcenypartners/forms/communication.pdf
Principles of universal design applied to early learning environments: http://olms.cte.jhu.edu/3868
Disabled People and Development: http://hpod.pmhclients.com/pdf/Disabled-people-and-development.pdf
Tips for Teachers: Teaching Students with Disabilities: http://www.schoolmentalhealth.org/Resources/Educ/Tips%20for%20Teachers.pdf

Copyright © 2006-2019 eSchooltoday in association with BusinessGhana.com.
All Rights Reserved.