According to the latest U.S. census, there are over 56 million Americans living with a disability.(Source: Census.gov) So, if you haven’t yet interacted with a person with a disability, chances are you will at some point in the future.
People are often hesitant or intimidated to initiate a conversation with someone who has a disability. They fear inadvertently doing or saying something inappropriate. While these concerns are understandable, it’s important to realize people with disabilities should be treated the same as everyone else. It all comes down to having a sense of awareness and disability etiquette.
The iDisability® e-learning platform was developed for anyone in a business environment – with or without a disability – who wants to interact more effectively with people with disabilities. One such module, “Communicating with Individuals with Disabilities,” was developed to provide effective communication and best practice techniques for respectful interactions. Here are three useful tips to remember:
- We’re all more alike than we are different, so look for commonalities before finding differences.
- Never ignore someone with a disability for fear your actions or words could unintentionally offend them. Ignoring them is much worse.
- Don’t assume people with disabilities need assistance for everything. Most people with disabilities can manage without assistance. Don’t underestimate their abilities.
The best way to get over the feeling of awkwardness when interacting with someone with a disability is with education and training. iDisability® was developed with the goal of ensuring employees have the foundation necessary to easily and effectively connect with and engage people with disabilities in the workforce. Over 2 million business users across a variety of industries have already used our 38 distinctly different and practical modules to expand their disability practices, better serve their customers, and develop their brand. Experience it for yourself. Learn about the history of the disability civil rights movement for free, using our unique and concise eLearning solution.