Presentation on theme: "Disability Etiquette Interacting with People with Disabilities Presented by United Spinal Association www.unitedspinal.org Copyright 2010."— Presentation transcript:
Disability Etiquette Interacting with People with Disabilities Presented by United Spinal Association Copyright 2010
Have You Ever Heard this…? “I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake or say the wrong thing, so I just avoid the handicapped.” “We never get wheelchairs in here, so I have nothing to worry about.” “I welcome the physically & mentally challenged all the time. Haven’t they suffered enough?!?” “I know that it’s wrong, but I do get in on the latest gossip about the new office manager. I heard he has ‘mental problems’.” “Why does she need a Handicapped Parking space?!? She’s walking just fine to me!”
Purpose of this Training To raise awareness and provide practical tips and information for anyone who wants to interact more effectively, and more comfortably, with people with disabilities. To dispel myths about people with disabilities. To provide a level of comfort and ease for strengthening the diversity in your environment, whether it ’ s business or social.
Who Would You Pick? Applicant One Has severe back problems that require him to seek medical attention often and requires time off from work Applicant Two Has paralysis and uses crutches, sometimes a wheelchair to get around. Will require changes to the office space as an accommodation Applicant Three Severe bouts of depression (mental illness) that may occur at any given moment. Although a “hidden disability,” the individual requires accommodations for medical purposes.
Applicant #1 President John F. Kennedy
Applicant #2 President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Applicant #3 President Abraham Lincoln
It’s as Simple as Knowing the BASICS! GETTING STARTED!
What is a Disability? Legal Educational Social Justice & Equality!
3 Important Numbers
FACTS & STATS 54 More than 54 million Americans self-identify at least one disability 1990 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law in 1990 with the goal of integrating people with disabilities into all aspects of American life 221 People with disabilities command $221 Billion dollars in discretionary spending (Diversity, Inc. 2001).
The Basics ALWAYS…Ask before you act! Be sensitive about physical contact Think before you speak Don’t make assumptions Respond graciously to requests A person with a disability is an individual FIRST - treat him or her w/ same respect & dignity that you would show any other individual
Terminology Tips Put the person first (person w/ MS) Avoid “confinement” “confined to …” Avoid negative, disempowering words Victim Sufferer Use idiomatic expressions “Let’s take a walk.” “See you later.”
OTHER TIPS… Always speak to the person with a disability, NOT to their companion or interpreter Never Assume No need to shout or speak loudly Never touch or play with a Service Animal when one is being used Remember – Common Courtesy is simply Common Sense!
Self-Identification and the “Fear Factor” “ People will think I’m a trouble-maker, so I won’t ask for any of the new Assistive Technology that will help me do my job better.” “I just got this promotion. If I told my supervisor that I have MS, I could lose it.” “If I told people that I have a learning disability, they will think that I’m stupid, so I won’t let anyone know.” “If I ask for a sign language interpreter, people will think that I’m just spending money that the organization does not have.”
Ways to Address “Fear Factor” Accessibility should be Commonplace Incorporate accessibility into every aspect of activity/events Assign an individual to address access/disability related requests & accommodations Focus on the individuals ‘Abilities’ rather than ‘dis-ability’ (hosting special events; inviting pecial guests)
So Why Practice Disability Etiquette?
Why Practice Disability Etiquette? A man has worked w/ an organization/agency for 15 years when he is diagnosed with MS A woman interviews for a position as a computer software specialist. She is blind. A man introduces himself to a woman at a government/community retreat social gathering. The woman is deaf. The man is not. The location for the annual picnic is not accessible; An invited, dignitary from out of town, brings his son who has Spina Bifida & uses a wheelchair.
ACCOMMODATIONS? What For!?!
Can you Read this? (in 15 seconds or less!) Ew dohl eesht hrtust Ot eb lfse tnedive ttah lla nme are detaerc queal, that tyeh rea newdode yb trihe rCrtoea ithw rectian nulaeianlbe irgths, hatt manog eesht rea fiel, bilytre, dna eth rupiust fo shsaepnpi.
Now, Can you Read this? “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Can you Read this? We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In order to receive the company-wide 25% pay increase, you MUST report to human resources by 5pm today! A mandatory training will be held for all employees tomorrow at 10am. Those who do not attend will be reprimanded.
Now, Can you Read This? We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. In order to receive the company-wide 25% pay increase, you MUST report to human resources by 5pm today! A mandatory training will be held for all employees tomorrow at 10am. Those who do not attend will be reprimanded.
What You Can Do Provide “Reasonable Accommodations” when necessary (i.e. interview process; training) Develop a plan to remove physical barriers Tap into Community/ National Resources - i.e. ILC’s or DBTAC Utilize Assistive Technology as an accommodation
What You Can Do (cont’d) Incorporate accessibility when developing programs & activities, i.e. staff meetings, training classes, picnics/outings As a part of ongoing diversity & outreach efforts, develop an “in- house” committee/task force which focuses on one’s “ability” rather than “dis-ability”
Emergency Evacuation Procedures Take people with disabilities into consideration when formulating an emergency evacuation plan for your facility. Take into consideration people who may not consider themselves “disabled.” (i.e. people with asthma or someone who has a chronic heart condition) Compile a voluntary list and ask each individual what considerations they might need in the event of an emergency evacuation. Develop and practice an evacuation plan.
Publications… Disability Etiquette Canes to Wheelchairs: Mobility Alternatives Understanding the ADA Understanding the Fair Housing Amendments Act Taking Action: Guide to Self-Advocacy Accessible Air Travel Women’s Health Guide No Excuse for Abuse & Neglect –Women Parking for Just One-Minute Pads Fire Safety for Wheelchair Users Plus much more! Visit For complete Publication Listing and Descriptions
“The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong” President Lyndon B. Johnson
“Coming Together is a Beginning. Keeping Together is Progress. Working Together is Success.” Henry Ford