Let’s have an open conversation about disabilities. One way that we achieve our goal of advocating for the disabled community is through education. Please find answers to many common questions here. Don’t let fear and uncertainty keep you from getting to know people with disabilities
Fear of the unknown and lack of knowledge about how to act can lead to uneasiness when meeting a person who has a disability.
You can’t always see some one’s disability. If a person acts unusual or seems different, just be yourself. Let common sense and friendship break down any barriers you may encounter.
Following these guidelines may help prevent uncomfortable situations. But for more detailed information call Access to Independence at (619) 293-3500.
Basic Points of Etiquette
- Avoid asking personal questions about some one’s disability. If you must ask, be sensitive and show respect. Do not probe, if the person declines to discuss it.
- Be considerate of the extra time it might take for a person with a disability to do or say something.
- Be polite and patient when offering assistance, and wait until your offer is accepted. Listen or ask for specific instructions.
- When planning a meeting or other event, try to anticipate specific accommodations a person with a disability might need. If a barrier cannot be avoided, let the person know ahead of time.
- Be respectful of the rights of people with disabilities to use accessible parking spaces.
When speaking or writing about disability
- Refer to a person’s disability only when necessary and appropriate.
- Use people first language– refer to the individual first, then to his or her disability. (It is better to say “the person with a disability,” rather than “the disabled person.”)
- The following terms should be avoided in a disability context, because they disempower people or have negative meanings:
- suffers from