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AN AWARENESS COURSE FOR CO-WORKERS AND EMPLOYERS Disability Etiquette.

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Presentation on theme: "AN AWARENESS COURSE FOR CO-WORKERS AND EMPLOYERS Disability Etiquette."— Presentation transcript:

1 AN AWARENESS COURSE FOR CO-WORKERS AND EMPLOYERS Disability Etiquette

2 Increase work productivity and effectiveness through improved awareness of human disabilities and increased levels of comfort in working with diverse groups of people. Session Goal

3 Session Objectives Outline the various types of disabilities with which people may enter the workplace. Explore our attitudinal barriers to working successfully with people with disabilities. Develop appropriate disability language within the workplace. Build appropriate skills to interact with people with disabilities. Briefly overview employment factors relating to people with disabilities.

4 Disability Facts People with disabilities are America’s largest minority group, making up 20% of the population 1 in 5 people has a disability It is one of the only minority groups that you don’t have to be born into to join. Kelton Research. (2008). Bobby Dodd Institute survey: Newsworthy analysis..

5 Attitudinal Barriers If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. ~Pearl Buck

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7 “miserable objects who cannot help themselves”

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9 “No person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object or improper person to be allowed in or on the public ways or other public places in this city, shall therein or thereon expose himself to public view, under a penalty of not less than one dollar nor more than fifty dollars for each offense.”

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16 Spencer State Weston State Greenbrier Center Colin Anderson

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18 The Misconceptions People with disabilities are often viewed as: Victims or objects of pity Horrible or grotesque Burdens Evil, some threat to comfort and safety of others Unable to do things Having multiple disabilities Childlike “Special”

19 Types of Disabilities "It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I'm not crazy about using.” - Marlee Matlin

20 Adult Onset Childhood Onset Variations in Disability Types Modern Disability. (2011). Disability etiquette… So everyone can relax and get the job done

21 Visible Invisible Variations in Disability Types Modern Disability. (2011). Disability etiquette… So everyone can relax and get the job done

22 Temporary Chronic Variations in Disability Types Modern Disability. (2011). Disability etiquette… So everyone can relax and get the job done

23 Nominally impairing Significantly impairing Variations in Disability Types Modern Disability. (2011). Disability etiquette… So everyone can relax and get the job done

24 Progressive Variations in Disability Types Stable Modern Disability. (2011). Disability etiquette… So everyone can relax and get the job done

25 Language “Change your language and you change your thoughts.” -Karl Albrecht

26 LANGUAGE Can create BARRIERS or OPPORTUNITIES for people Can foster an epidemic of IGNORANCE or celebrate DIFFERENCES Oklahoma People First, Inc. (2011). People first language.

27 Language

28 Hank Williams Sr Country music singer

29 Joe Blue 2006 winner of Last Comic Standing on NBC

30 Danny Glover Actor Lethal Weapon Predator

31 William Elsworth “Dummy Hoy” Center Fielder for Reds Goodyear Executive

32 Richard Branson Founder of Virgin Enterprises

33 Douglas Bader WWII war hero Fighter pilot with the Royal Airforce

34 Language

35 Examples of UNacceptable Disability Language Modern Disability. (2011). Disability etiquette… So everyone can relax and get the job done

36 How to Replace the UNacceptable Language Do not refer to a person’s disability unless it is relevant to the conversation. Use the word "disability" rather than "handicap" to refer to a person’s disability. Never use "cripple/crippled" in any reference to a disability. When referring to a person’s disability, use "People First Language." Avoid referring to people with disabilities as "the disabled, the blind, the epileptics, the retarded." Descriptive terms should be used as adjectives, not as nouns. Avoid negative or sensational descriptions of a person’s disability. Don’t say "suffers from, a victim of, or afflicted with." These portrayals elicit unwanted sympathy, or worse, pity toward individuals with disabilities. Respect and acceptance is what people with disabilities prefer. Don’t use "normal" or "able-bodied" to describe people who do not have disabilities. It is better to say "people without disabilities," if necessary to make comparisons. Oklahoma People First, Inc. (2011). People first language.

37 Three Primary Principles Who People with Disabilities REALLY are: 1. They are NOT their disabilities. 2. They treasure their independence. 3. They are the experts. Beyond Language in Disability Etiquette Modern Disability. (2011). Disability etiquette… So everyone can relax and get the job done

38 Basic Etiquette Speak directly to the person. It is appropriate to offer to shake hands. OFFER assistance; don’t just give it. If accepted, listen or ask for instructions. Treat adults as adults. RELAX! Don’t apologize if you happen to use accepted, common expressions that seem to relate to a person’s disability.

39 Basic Etiquette Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are unsure what to do. Service dogs are working tools. Do not pet, feed, or distract them while they are working. Ask their person before making any contact with the dog. Don’t make assumptions. Know where accessible restrooms, drinking fountains, and telephones are located within your work area.

40 Etiquette 101: Physical disabilities A wheelchair is part of a person’s body space. Pushing the chair is a skill. Sit at eye level for notable chats. Offer help, but make sure it is provided in an unassuming manner. Follow through on whatever needs to be done. No premature exits. Keep paths clear in buildings and outside. Don’t use wide bathroom stalls if you don’t need them. If you are driving them, go easy on the brake.

41 Etiquette 101: Blindness or low vision Always identify yourself and others with you. Never touch or grab a cane- or the person. In order to gain their attention, you may touch the person lightly on the arm as you speak. Don’t assume your help is wanted or needed, rather ask if they would like your help. Offer your arm, elbow, or shoulder if assistance is needed. Give them information- “I’m offering you my arm.” When moving, describe what is on their path ahead. Let them know when you are leaving the room. Face them when you speak.

42 Etiquette 101: Blindness or low vision Immediately greet them when they enter a room. When greeting, feel free to shake his or her hand after saying, “How do you do? Let me shake your hand.” Address them by name in a conversation so they know you are talking to them. Speak in a normal tone and speed of voice. Answer all questions verbally instead of with gestures or body language. Direct your conversation to the person rather than someone who might be with them as a helper.

43 Etiquette 101: Speech Impairment Allow them to speak- feeling rushed impairs speech more. Seek a quiet setting in which to talk. Don’t complete their sentences. Make eye contact. Use the same tone of voice and volume that you would normally use unless the person asks differently. Listen to the person’s words, not the manner in which they are said. If you don’t understand, ask them to repeat. Don’t pretend to understand if you are having difficulty doing so.

44 Etiquette 101: Speech Impairment If you’re not sure you understood, repeat back what you heard. If needed, ask them to write or use a computer. Respect that a person with a speech impairment may prefer one-on-one conversation to group discussions. If you are uncertain, ask the person how to best communicate instead of guessing. If necessary, ask short questions that require short answers, a nod or shake of the head.

45 Etiquette 101: Hearing Loss Speak normally- hearing aids are tuned for it. Keep your face and mouth visible for lip reading. Don’t exaggerate speech or emotion. Touch their arm or gesture to get attention. When a translator is present, address the person with hearing loss. Avoid sudden changes of topic in conversation.

46 Etiquette 101: Cognitive Disability Make no assumptions. Might need extra time to process information. Use clear language. Don’t take lack of response personally- they might be overwhelmed. Don’t take sudden emotions personally. Direct eye contact can be intimidating. Allow for different styles of processing information.

47 Employment Factors Americans with Disabilities Act Protection of Rights Accessibility Accommodation Inclusion

48 Americans with Disabilities Act

49 Employment-Related Service-Related Makes it unlawful to discriminate in employment against a qualified individual with a disability Makes it unlawful to discriminate in State and local government services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications against one with a disability. Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

50 Who Does ADA Protect? Individuals with physical or mental impairment(s) that substantially limit a major life activity, those who have a record of a substantially limiting impairment, and people who are regarded as having a substantially limiting impairment, AND who:  are qualified in education, experience, skills, licenses, and any other qualification standards that are job related and set.  are able to perform those tasks that are essential to the job, with or without reasonable accommodation. U.S. EEOC. (2011). The ADA: Your responsibilities as an employer.

51 What Employment Practices are Covered by ADA? Recruitment Pay Hiring Firing Promotion Job assignments Training Leave Lay-off Benefits All other employment related activities, terms, or conditions of employment U.S. EEOC. (2011). The ADA: Your responsibilities as an employer.

52 Accessibility Degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available A concern from recruitment of an employee to their retirement Largely based on physical plant issues, but also involves accessibility to necessary tools and equipment (ex. providing pre-employment testing in Braille or in oral format for those with blindness or low vision)

53 Accommodation Any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. JAN (2011) reported that 56% of employers experienced NO cost for the accommodations they made; while 38% of employers experienced a one time cost of between $1 and $500.

54 Harassment and ADA Harassment can include offensive remarks about a person’s disability that goes beyond simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious. Harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision. The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a contracted worker, student, or other customer. U.S. EEOC (2011). Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices.

55 USE COMMON SENSE AND DISABILITY ETIQUETTE BE INCLUSIVE ENSURE ACCESSIBILITY MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS PROTECT RIGHTS Avoiding Discrimination & Harassment Claims

56 Protection of Rights DO consider having written job descriptions that identify the essential functions of each job. DO ensure that requirements for medical exams comply with the ADA. DO relax and make people feel comfortable. DO provide reasonable accommodations. City of Sacramento, CA (2011). Do and Don’ts

57 Key Elements to Inclusion Universal Design/Accessibility  construction of structures, spaces, services, communications and resources that are organically accessible to a range of people with and without disabilities, without further need for modification or accommodation. Recruitment, Training, and Advancement Opportunities  recruitment of people with disabilities involves two components: a) accessible outreach and hiring practices, and b) targeted recruitment of workers with disabilities. Policies and Practices  Consideration and consultation of people with disabilities are involved in the development and implementation of policies. Willingness to make accommodations when necessary. Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University (2010). What is an Inclusive Culture?

58 Protection of Rights DO learn where to find and recruit people with disabilities DO learn how to communicate with people who have disabilities DO ensure that your applications and other company forms do not ask disability-related questions and that they are in formats that are accessible to all persons with disabilities. City of Sacramento, CA (2011). Do and Don’ts

59 Protection of Rights DO understand that access includes not only environmental access but also making forms accessible to people with visual or cognitive disabilities and making alarms and signals accessible to people with hearing disabilities. DO develop procedures for maintaining and protecting confidential medical records. DO train supervisors on making reasonable accommodations. City of Sacramento, CA (2011). Do and Don’ts

60 Protection of Rights DON’T ask if a person has a disability. DON’T assume that certain jobs are more suited to persons with disabilities. DON’T hire a person with a disability who is not qualified to perform the essential functions of the job even with a reasonable accommodation. DON’T assume that you have to retain an unqualified employee with a disability. City of Sacramento, CA (2011). Do and Don’ts

61 Protection of Rights DON’T assume that reasonable accommodations are expensive. DON’T speculate or try to imagine how you would perform a specific job if you had the applicant’s disability. DON’T assume that you don’t have any jobs that a person with a disability can do. City of Sacramento, CA (2011). Do and Don’ts

62 Protection of Rights DON’T assume that your workplace is accessible. DON’T make medical judgments. DON’T assume that a person with a disability can’t do a job due to apparent or non-apparent disabilities. City of Sacramento, CA (2011). Do and Don’ts

63 Teresa McCourt

64 References: Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University. (2010). What is an Inclusive Culture? Retrieved December 2011 from City of Sacramento, CA. (2011). Do and don’ts. Retrieved December 2011 from Job Accommodation Network (JAN). (2011). Workplace accommodations: Low cost, high impact. Retrieved January 2012 from Kelton Research. (2008). Bobby Dodd Institute survey: Newsworthy analysis. Retrieved December 2011 from Modern Disability. (2011). Disability etiquette… So everyone can relax and get the job done. Retrieved December 2011 from

65 References: Oklahoma People First, Inc. (2011). People first language. Retrieved December 2011 from U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2011). Prohibited employment policies/practices. Retrieved December 2011 from U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2011). The ADA: Your responsibilities as an employer. Retrieved December 2011 from


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