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Do`s and Don`ts

Dos and Don’ts when meeting a person with a disability

  • Do not treat people with disabilities as if they are disabled in other ways.Do not assume physical disability means learning disability.
  • Don’t always assume that people with disabilities need help, but do ask if you can help, and how, if it looks as if help is needed.
  • Do not touch or grab wheelchairs, walking frames or communication aids without asking permission first.
  • Do not make decisions for the person. Let the person decide – then when necessary you can facilitate.
  • Do chat to a person in a stationary wheelchair with your head at the same level instead of looking down chatting from a distance.
  • Do treat children with disabilities as far as possible just like their peers.This includes not allowing them to misbehave anymore so than their peers. Children with disabilities need to learn the boundaries of acceptable behaviour just the same as any other children.
  • Do not over-protect children with disabilities. Help them to maximise their potential by recognising their ability rather than focusing on their disability.
  • Do talk directly to the person rather than through a companion or parent.Do make eye contact.
  • Do be patient – allow plenty of time for the child to reply. If you don’t understand say, “I don’t understand, can you repeat that please?” Do not pretend to understand when you do not.
  • Do examine your own pre-conceived ideas.