It’s no secret that many people are uncomfortable around individuals with impairments, regardless of the fact that one out of every five individuals in the world has a disability/impairment (or a “limiting permanent physical condition” for those who can’t yet call themselves impaired). It might take time to become used to the concept of being disabled, and it can take much longer for individuals to get used to being around handicapped people. Engaging with the community as a person with special needs might expose a variety of disturbing societal mores.
Just walking into a room, pulling up to the drive-thru, or asking for assistance in the shop may generate a lot of stress for certain people. However, it is never too late for individuals to change their minds. TLC First Support Services is one such organization in Tasmania that aims to spread this necessary information as well as serves the people with special needs. If you’ve never met a person who has been handicapped before, or if you’re about to meet one and are scared you’ll make a complete fool of yourself, here are 10 must-know recommendations for engaging with individuals with special needs.
This statement expresses a lot in a few simple words, and the deeper meaning is important to remember if you wish to communicate with them more effectively. Take a deep breath and relax; there are bigger things in life than them. They’re simply another ordinary individual, albeit one that sits on a wheeled chair. They’re not as dissimilar as you would believe. It’s true.
Always Asking First Before Helping
Although it may be difficult to resist, instinctively assisting them without first asking should never be done. They are aware of when it is appropriate to seek assistance. Just wait for them to say anything. Please don’t take their jacket and help them put it on without permission first, even if it appears that they are too shy to ask for it. Or help them get into their wheelchair-accessible vehicle. How would you feel if someone walked into your personal space and barreled through it? You wouldn’t do it. They are in the same boat. To spread messages like this and make the masses aware about how to interact with special people around them, TLC First Support Services has organized quite a number of seminars and public sessions till now.
One of the most irritating things you can do when engaging with someone with a condition is to speak louder while speaking to them. Why do people do this even though they are aware that the one being addressed is not deaf? The existence of a mobility device does not imply that they are unintelligent by any means or that they cannot hear what’s going around them.
Introducing Yourself before a Visually Impaired Person
When you first meet someone with visual impairments, one of the most crucial things you can do is introduce yourself. This is something you should do generally, but in the case of someone with vision problems, you should do it straight immediately to let them know you’re around so they can better “see” their environment.
Patronizing Won’t Do Any Good
Avoiding condescending remarks is another important aspect of how to connect successfully with people with special needs. “Good for you,” “You’re so brave,” and “Wow, I’m impressed” are all phrases that should never be used. Just keep in mind that they aren’t all that dissimilar.
The Person First Approach
You may have observed that I refer to the disabled people as “those with special needs” all through this post. This is known as “person first” language, and individuals with disabilities should always be addressed in this manner in writing and in thinking. It’s about seeing the person under whatever circumstance they’re in. If you can learn to write and talk in this manner, you’ll be well on your way to perceiving them before their disability.
Directly Addressing Them
It might be difficult to see, but if you’re in a cafe and notice someone with a visible impairment, pay attention to how the server communicates with them. They’ll often ask whoever they’re with, not them, what they’re ordering, presuming that the person’s impairment must also impact their mental capabilities. This is an utterly wrong attitude and needs to be addressed by spreading some awareness in the community. This type of thinking still exists in many people’s thoughts, and it is one of the most serious violations against people with special needs. Simply imagine that they can think as rapidly as you can, and you’ll be OK.
Thy Golden Rule, Really that Simple!
Above all, remember the Golden Rule if you’re in question about how you should treat them. The Golden Rule is simple: treat people the way you want to be treated. Respect for one another. This is the only tip you’ll need by the end of the day. They wouldn’t even recognize the Golden Rule if everyone followed it in all facets of life.
Engaging with disabled individuals is just as difficult as you make it. Remember the principles listed above, while also remembering the value of fundamental human relations. You’re officially a cut above the rest if you can do it, breaking away from outmoded ways of communicating with people with special needs. We, at TLC First Support Services, believe that everyone needs to know these basic principles about how to interact with people with special needs.
Avoiding Unnecessary Remarks
People with special needs sometimes dislike being described as “inspirational” in general, especially while performing a simple chore like going for a grocery run to a nearby mart. And that happens on a regular basis. Please try to avoid expressing your opinions with them on dealing with their disability, as some individuals are inspired by them simply living their lives and those people can’t help themselves. They are simply attempting to live their lives in the same manner as everyone else. Your remark will have the opposite impact, reminding them of how different they are still seen to be. This is the very basic principle that we teach at TLC First Support Services to the attendants of people with special needs.