People with Disabilities

How Should You Treat Someone with Disabilities

It is scary territory to walk on, but you have to walk on it regardless. When interacting with a loved one, or even a stranger who has a disability, it’s important to give them respect and treat them as another other human being. For example, even though powerchairs might help someone to get around, you should never disregard their ability to do other ordinary things in life, as this immediately places them in an inferior stance. One of the best ways to look at it is, “how would I feel if I was in their position?”

Always be Respectful

No matter what the disability, everyone is human, and so someone with disabilities should be treated with equal respect. You have to remember that someone with a disability is clearly aware of the impairment that they have, and therefore it’s rude and careless to disregard this and treat them without the respect they deserve. People with disabilities have a difficult time on a daily basis completing tasks that an average person could do easily, yet they stay optimistic and strong. Therefore, people with a disability probably deserve more respect than others. It’s important not to patronise somebody with a disability, as you need to bear in mind they are still intelligent beings and can still understand what you’re trying to communicate. Of course, exceptions for people with a hearing impairment might need slightly delayed communication, but it’s still important not to speak to them like a child.

Patience

If you’re with someone who has problems with mobility, it’s crucial that you’re patient with them. You need to be considerate of them and allow them to take their time with their movements. It can be helpful to alter your perspective and put yourself in their shoes. As you can imagine, it’s very upsetting to be criticised and moaned at for something that you’re giving your all to. Therefore, allow people with a mobility disability to manoeuvre at their own speed, and if they require  it, give them help and assist them with their movements.

Avoid Victimisation

Placing individuals with a disability in a victimised light is actually not as empathetic as you might think. Instead, by making people with a disability the victim, you’re taking away their power and placing them in an inferior position. Again, it’s vital to remember that they’re still human, and even though they might have some form of impairment, they still withhold power and can make their own decisions in life.

Only Help If You Need To

Helping someone with a disability can be tricky, as you don’t want to be patronising and suggest that they aren’t capable of completing the task on their own. However, the best way to solve this issue is to simply ask if they need help before you decide to aid them. People with disabilities have adapted their everyday life in order to cope with life and get things done; therefore, it’s likely that they’ve created their own methods to manage tasks. Consequently, they’ve learned to take care of themselves and might need help from you, even if you’d like to give it to them. 

Poppy Watt