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What Do You Know About Individuals with Disabilities? Christy Compton VA Disability Program Manager Office of Diversity and Inclusion Office of Human Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "What Do You Know About Individuals with Disabilities? Christy Compton VA Disability Program Manager Office of Diversity and Inclusion Office of Human Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Do You Know About Individuals with Disabilities? Christy Compton VA Disability Program Manager Office of Diversity and Inclusion Office of Human Resources and Administration

2 Demographics 13.6% of people 18 – 44 years old have a disability. 29.2% of people 45 – 64 years old have a disability. 12.2% of people with no disability live in poverty. 24.3% of people with severe disabilities live in poverty. The unemployment rate for people with no disabilities is less than 20%. The unemployment rate for people with severe disabilities is 76%. 2

3 Preferred Language Disabled people or people with disabilities? Confined to a wheelchair or a person who uses a wheelchair? Hearing impaired or Deaf/hard of hearing? Intellectual disability or mental retardation? Special needs or reasonable accommodation? Cancer patient or cancer victim? Cripple or amputee? AIDS sufferer or person with AIDS? Person who is blind or blind person? 3

4 Language Preferences People with disabilities A person who uses a wheelchair Deaf/hard of hearing, but it depends on the person; some still use hearing impaired. Intellectual disability Reasonable accommodation Cancer patient Amputee Person with AIDS Person who is blind; some use low-vision. 4

5 People Who are Blind 1.When you see a person who is blind, you should hold their arm and guide them to the right room. True or False? 2.Many blind people can see colors. True or False? 3.You should speak louder to a person who is blind. True or False? 4.Seeing eye dogs can be petted. True or False? 5.The tip of a blind person’s cane is always red. True or false? 6.People who are blind develop a “sixth sense.” True or False? 5

6 Answers 1.False. You should offer your arm to a person who is blind. S/he might prefer to walk beside you without touching you. 2.True. Many people who are blind can see colors. 3.False. Blindness does not affect hearing. 4.False. Always ask before petting or interacting with a seeing eye dog. 5.False. The tip of a blind person’s cane is usually white. 6.False. People who are blind do not develop a “sixth sense.” 6

7 People Who are Deaf 1. All people who are deaf know sign language. True or False? 2. To get the attention of a person who is deaf, wave or tap them on the shoulder. True or False? 3. All people who are deaf use the same kind of sign language. True or False? 4. Most people who are profoundly deaf do not have the ability to talk. True or False? 5. People who are deaf do not mind noisy environments, because they can’t hear. True or False? 6. All deaf people read lips. True or False? 7

8 Answers 1.False. Most people who are deaf do not know sign language. 2.True. If the deaf person is not looking at you, you may tap him/her on the shoulder. If s/he is looking, just wave. 3.False. There are several kinds of sign language. 4.False. Deafness does not affect the physical ability to talk. Many deaf people have never learned how to talk or chose not to talk. 5.False. Most deaf people are negatively affected by noisy environments. 6.False. Not all deaf people can read lips. 8

9 People Who are Hard of Hearing 1. All people who are hard of hearing use sign language. True or False? 2. If someone is hard of hearing, you can whisper in their ear. True or False? 3. All people who are hard of hearing can hear on the phone. True or False? 4. All people who are hard of hearing talk loudly. True or False? 5. All people who are hard of hearing talk “funny” because they talk the way they hear. True or False? 9

10 Answers 1.False. Not all people who are hard of hearing know sign language. 2.False. Most people who are hard of hearing cannot hear a whisper. 3.False. Most people who are hard of hearing need assistive technology to hear on the phone, but this does not work for everyone. 4.False. People who are hard of hearing usually talk at a normal volume. 5.False. Some people who are hard of hearing talk perfectly, and some sound like they have an accent; they say words the way they hear them. 10

11 People Who Use Wheelchairs Some people who use a wheelchair can walk. True or False? You should always walk behind a person in a wheelchair. True or False? When talking with a person in a wheelchair or scooter, you should bend down so you are face to face. True or False? Some people who use a wheelchair or scooter can’t stand. True or False? People who use wheelchairs do not like to travel. True or False? 11

12 Answers 1.True. Some people who use wheelchairs can walk and some cannot. 2.False. Whenever possible, you should walk beside the person in a wheelchair or scooter. 3.True. Sit in a chair, bend, or kneel to talk with a person using a wheelchair or scooter. Do not lean on or touch the wheelchair or scooter. 4.True. Some people who use wheelchairs or scooters cannot stand and use devices or assistance to transfer from the chair. 5.False. Some people who use a wheelchair or scooter like to travel. 12

13 People Who Have PTSD* 1.All people with PTSD need a quiet workplace. True or False? 2.You should encourage a person with PTSD to talk about the incident. True or False? 3.When you talk with a person with PTSD, you should use a whisper. True or False? 4.Only people who have been in a war or other violent situation have PTSD. True or False? 5.Men tend to get PTSD more often than women. True or False? * PTSD = Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 13

14 Answers 1.False. Some people with PTSD are more social than others. It depends on the person. 2.False. Only the person’s physician can gauge whether the individual is ready to talk. 3.False. Use a normal tone of voice and volume when talking with a person with PTSD. 4.False. Any traumatic event can cause PTSD. 5.False. There is a higher incidence rate of PTSD among women than men. 14

15 General rules: Use “People first” language. Ask if a person needs something; do not assume. Never ask about the disability. Doing so can create a liability for VA. Ensure that the environment is accessible (open doors, etc.) but don’t act like the person is helpless. Talk to the person and not to his/her assistant or interpreter. Always ask before petting a dog or other assistive animal. Focus on the person and not on the disability.

16 16 Contact Information Christy Compton VA Disability Program Manager Outreach and Retention Division Office of Diversity & Inclusion (202) VA’s Disability Program web site


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