Friday, April 30, 2010

What Should You Talk About with a Disabled Person?

People who have disabilities have families, pets, jobs, hobbies, cultural interests, or sports that they participate in. Get to know about them and their interests the same way you would with anyone else, by making conversation. You may be surprised at the range of interests and activities. Focus on who the person is and not the disability.
However, the subject of the disability is not taboo. If it comes up naturally, talk about it:
  • The meeting is at four o’clock. Do you need me to come by for you, or will you get there on your own?
  • I’ll meet you in the auditorium. There’s an accessible entrance to the left of the main entrance.
However, when talking to someone with a disability, avoid the term handicapped. Use the word disabled and save handicap for golf outings. In addition, say, “the person with the disability,” rather than “the disabled person.”
Say, “the person who has epilepsy,” rather than “the epileptic.” By doing so, you
avoid defining the person as the condition. This practice is not only more considerate
but also more accurate

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