The success of an integrated workplace depends on effective communication. More people with disabilities are employed than ever before, working side-by-side with people without disabilities. Enhancing the ability of staffers to engage and interact in a relaxed and confident manner can ensure positive and respectful interactions.
eLearning platforms like iDisability™ are now available for corporate learning and training. One such module, “Communicating with Individuals with Disabilities,” was developed to provide effective communication techniques. Here are a few key takeaways:
- Always use person first language. Referring to someone as a person with a disability instead of a disabled person places the focus on the person rather than the disability.
- Greet individuals with disabilities like you would everyone else. Speak directly to the person with a disability, not his or her companion.
- If you’re speaking to someone with speech difficulties, listen carefully to what the person is saying, and repeat what you think you heard. Do not pretend to understand.
- When speaking to a person who is blind, identify everyone who’s present and announce when someone is leaving. And, don’t be self-conscious about using common sight-related expressions, such as, “See you later.”
- Have conversations at eye level with people who use wheelchairs. And, do not lean on or touch a person’s wheelchair, as it is part of the person’s personal space.
- Do not touch or distract service animals. They are working, and human interactions while on duty could break their focus.
The iDisability™ e-learning platform provides a common-sense approach to effectively communicate and respectfully engage every employee within the workforce. To schedule a demonstration, complete the contact form.