This section covers: Appropriate language Communicating with people with disabilities Communication about people with disabilities Positive language Disability etiquette
Appropriate language Language reflects and shapes the way we view the world. ‘Putting People First’ – acknowledges the person before their disability.
Communicating with people with disabilities Treat people respectfully and with patience Never make assumptions about what a person can or can not do Speak directly to the individual
Communicating with people with disabilities (cont.) Don’t attempt to speak for an individual or finish their sentences Never ask ‘what happened to you?’
Communication about people with disabilities Do not define a person by their disability Avoid stereotypes, labels, generalisations and assumptions Avoid words and phrases with a negative connotation
Communication about people with disabilities (cont.) Avoid focusing unnecessarily on a person’s disability Portray people positively - recognise what they can do Recognise many barriers faced are created by community attitudes and the physical environment
Positive language Examples: Person with a disability A wheelchair user Person with paraplegia Deaf / hearing impaired Person with an acquired brain injury Accessible toilet Accessible parking
Disability etiquette Ask if, and what, assistance may be required Respect a person’s dignity, individuality and independence
Disability etiquette (cont.) Treat everyone with respect and courtesy Speak directly to the individual - never speak about the person as if they are not there Don’t be patronising – as if performing everyday tasks is exceptional
Resources Putting People First You Can Make a Difference to Customer Relations for People with Disabilities in Local Government and State Government Agencies – DVD You Can Make a Difference to Customer Relations for People with Disabilities in the Hospitality, Tourism, Retail and Entertainment Industries - DVD All available at: www.disability.wa.gov.au
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