A person with a disability can be anyone with either a physical or a mental impairment. Being considerate about them always displays your generous nature but one must be very careful while supporting or assisting them as any small mistake can offend them and can add to their misery.
Here are few important things a person must know while supporting a person with disability:
1. Get the terms correct: Most of the terms which were considered correct for identifying a person with disabilities are obsolete now. New terms sounds gentler and also non-offensive. Here are few examples:
|#||Old term||New terms|
|1.||Wheel-chair bound||A person using wheelchair|
|2.||Blind||A person with visual impairment|
|3.||Handicap||A person with disability|
|4.||Mute/Dumb||Unable to speak|
|5.||Crippled/Lame||A person with limited mobility|
|6.||Mentally retarded||A person with cognitive disability|
|7.||Deaf||A person with limited hearing ability|
2. Make an eye contact: Revert from communicating with a person with a disability via any mediator. Communicate directly and make sure to have an eye contact. Always remember to kneel down to the level of a person using a wheelchair while communicating.
3. First ask before helping: Sometime a person with disability may appear to be struggling but that does not necessarily means he/she needs an assistance. Make sure to ask before laying a helping hand and never get offended if your offer is rejected. Never provide medical advice, especially if you are not a doctor.
4. Behave normally but respectfully: Maintain your normal voice tone and volume while talking. Refrain from getting too polite or talking very slowly. Always offer a hand-shake or a Namaste. It is Okay to speak a little loudly with profound lip-movements while interacting a person with limited hearing ability.
Other than these things you can always become a volunteer in any organization which work for people with disability. You can also play an important role by educating people about them and raising awareness using social media or any other platform.
To know more, visit our Disability Support Group