Ask Before Helping
Some people’s first reaction when they see someone with a disability having trouble with something would be to go and help them. However, it’s important that you don’t assume that they need help or that it’s okay for you to just go up and help them. Always ask someone with a disability if they want help before assuming that they need it.
Speak Clearly, Not Just Louder
There is a whole world of different disabilities out there. If someone has a development disability, then speaking clearly will benefit both of you. One thing that you should avoid at all costs is raising your voice to speak to someone with a disability. Unless they have a hearing impairment, then they probably don’t need you to raise your voice and more often than not, this comes across as patronising.
For the most part, you don’t need to treat someone with a disability different from anyone else. When speaking, give eye contact and speak to the person directly. If you are speaking to someone who is in a wheelchair don’t lean over to be at eye level, sit with them and have a conversation.
The majority of people don’t like people up in their personal space without permission. Some people who use mobility aids would deem the aid itself to be a part of their personal space. Make sure that you don’t lean on or touch their mobility aids without permission. Not only is this more respectful it is also for safety.
Learn More About Their Disability
A disability doesn’t need to be the elephant in the room. The more you know about someone’s disability the more you can tailor your support to them. There are many different types of aids available that allow people with disabilities to be more independent, these can be easily accessible online as well as a whole wealth of other information.