Some tips to remember while interacting with a disabled person
When you interact with a disabled person, there are certain things to keep in mind. The society clearly lacks awareness about disabilities and that is why it is important to work towards an inclusive world. Here are some tips to remember while interacting with a disabled person.
Most of the people are clearly unaware about how to interact with a disabled person. Even today, the society lacks awareness about disabilities due to which people are uncomfortable while interacting with a disabled person. But a change is inevitable and it is never too late to change.
Do you have a disabled friend, relative or colleague? Then there are certain things that you must know and remember while interacting with them.
Anjurani Joy is a wheelchair user from Kerala. She is an actor and entrepreneur too.
They ask things like how did we start using a wheelchair and how we do our daily tasks. For a wheelchair user, doing their daily tasks is just like how any other person does it. I do not mind answering questions about all this. But at least start off by getting me and letting me get to know you before you shoot off such questions –Anjurani Joy.
Here are some tips to remember while interacting with a disabled person
Treat everyone with respect– Everyone wants and deserves to be treated with respect. When you talk to a disabled person, this is the golden rule that must be applied. Nobody likes to be judged on their disability. Every person has their own strengths and weaknesses which can be physical too.
Do not help unless offered– Most people think that a disabled person always needs help. A person who has been living with a disability all their lives knows how to do things on their own. They are independent just like everyone else. When you interact with a disabled person, chances are high of offering them help. But do not do it unless they ask you for it.
Respect assistive devices– Do you lean on your colleague’s wheelchair? Feel like checking out accessibility features of your visually impaired friend’s phone? You are clearly annoying them. An assistive device is an important part of their lives which needs to be respected. It is also part of their personal space. Checking them out or disrespecting it is a violation of their personal space.
Stop calling disabled people inspirational– If you see a disabled person doing things on their own, do not call them inspirational. Understand that there is nothing inspirational about doing daily activities. If you try and tell them that, it might have a profound negative effect than positive.
Pratibha Bhatnagar’s son who has autism works with a private company in Jaipur. Pratibha says that her son has often been discriminated due his disability even at work place.
“People with autism are sensitive and emotional. So when you interact with them, it is important to keep this in mind. They have sensory issues owing to which their actions will also be different from others. They need our support to grow. Give them respect and interact with them normally. It is high time society starts becoming more aware about disabilities”, she says.
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