Etiquette for everyday interaction with a person with a disability
- The person with a disability is not necessarily more fragile or sensitive than other people.
- Ask the person for his or her preferred method for communication, for example, written or sign language.
- Look and talk directly to the person.
- Feel free to ask the person to repeat himself if you do not understand the first time.
- If you offer help, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen or ask for instructions.
- There is no need to avoid or gloss over humorous situations as a result of a disability.
- Try to help a person with a visual impairment in becoming familiar with a new place.
- Ignore guide dogs or other service animals. Don’t pet them…they are working.
- Don’t worry about using common expressions such as “See ya later,” or “Gotta run.”
- When speaking with someone with mental retardation, use simple, but not childish language.
- Don’t pretend to understand if you don’t.
- When speaking with someone who uses a wheelchair, sit down or kneel to place yourself at their eye level.
- Don’t lean on the wheelchair.