This is a topic i care about because I have a twin brother who was born with Downsyndrome. This means that he has a disability and he learns, speaks, and understands things differently than most people. A lot of people don’t know how to act around him, so I thought I would write this to help people know how to talk to a person with a disability!
Do’s and Don’t’s when talking to someone with a Disability
- Do- Behave naturally and respectfully. Treat the person the same way you would treat anyone else.
- Do- Make eye contact and speak to them directly.
- Do- Offer to help them carry something if it looks like they need help (In a polite way)
- Do- Be relaxed and open. People with disabilities are nothing to be afraid of! They may be different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t communicate with them.
- Do-Respect their personal property and belongings.
- Do- Ask questions and be patient if you don’t understand them.
- Don’t- Look down on them, treat them like a little kid, or pat them on the head.
- Don’t- Ask whats wrong with them.
- Don’t- Make assumptions about the person and their abilities
- Don’t- Stare
- Don’t- Focus on the disability, always focus on the individual.
Hopefully this will help you make friends with people that have different abilities, and give you some idea of how to talk to someone with a disability! Now i’m going to talk about what terms, words, and expressions are acceptable when referring to someone who has a disability.
- Acceptable: That person has a disability.
- Unacceptable: That person is retarded, disabled, crippled, ect.
- Acceptable: People with autism, people with downsyndrome.
- Unacceptable: Percieving them as a victim. People with disabilities do not like to be viewed as a victim for their whole life.
- Acceptable: People who do not have a disability.
- Unacceptable: Normal people. This implies that a person with a disability is abnormal.
Those are just a few things people commonly slip up on! You don’t want to say anything offensive so hopefully this will help, or atleast give you a jist of how to speak about someone who has a disability! Remember, people with disabilities are people to, and they deserve the same respect that everyone else does. This is a picture of me and my brother (: