This is very helpful!
For some folks, it can get awkward, so here’s a quick guide.
The key thing you should know?
People with disabilities are people first.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv1aDEFlXq8&feature=youtu.be expand=1]
Here are 15 of the key takeaways, taken from the clip above:
- “We need the same things that everybody needs, such as respect.”
- “Focus on the person, not the disability.”
- “Watch the person signing, and not their interpreter—or their companion.”
- “Please ask first before trying to help.”
- “Let me hold onto your elbow … don’t take mine.”
- “Assistive devices help us to live their lives. Don’t assume you can touch them.”
- “That goes for service animals, too; only approach or touch them if we’ve given you permission.”
- “Don’t take it personally if someone with a service animal asks you not to touch or pet them.”
- “We make our own decisions, sign our own documents, vote, volunteer, work, pay taxes, and get married.”
- “Just because I’m blind does not mean I’m deaf.”
- “Just because I’m deaf doesn’t mean I’m blind.”
- “Just because I use a wheelchair doesn’t mean I can’t sweep you off your feet.”
- “Take a deep breath, and relax. We don’t bite.”
- “If you’re not sure, just ask.”
- “Just treat us the way you’d want to be treated, and we’ll all be ok.”