If you work with someone who has a disability or if your child is friends with someone who has physical issues then you may feel out of your comfort zone. You may not know how to communicate with that person without causing offence and you may also not know how to give them the help and support that they need. The main thing that you have to remember here is that this is completely normal, but there are ways that you can help yourself so that you can provide them with a higher level of support for when they need it.
Communicate with Them Directly
People who suffer from a disability may have an interpreter or they may even have a nurse with them. If you have been a part of a family nurse practitioner online program before or if you have experience as a nurse then you’ll know that it’s important that you talk to the person properly and not through someone else. Sometimes, those who have problems hearing look at the interpreter while the other person talks but this is just so that they can follow the conversation. When you are talking to someone who is deaf, it’s important that you talk to them, because that is the person who you are trying to communicate with and not the interpreter. If you are trying to talk to someone in a wheelchair then sit down so that they don’t strain their neck trying to look up at you as well.
If you see someone who has a disability struggling with something then ask them before you give them the help that they need. You may actually be doing more harm than good. Sometimes it may look like someone is struggling with something, but in reality they are doing just fine. It may take them longer to accomplish certain tasks but that doesn’t mean that they need your help. Simply offer them some advice and if they take it then ask them what you can do. If they politely decline, you need to respect this.
Questions Are Good If They’re Relevant
A lot of people worry about offending someone if they have a disability and this can make them appear nervous. It’s sometimes better to ask someone a question rather than trying to work out the situation and remaining confused. For example, if you are working with someone who is deaf, ask them if they can read lips and ask them if they would prefer it if you faced them when you talked. You can also ask someone who is in a wheelchair if they are aware of where the wheelchair ramp is. These types of questions are designed to help those who have a disability to get the best result out of their trip or experience with you, but phrasing them correctly is crucial if you want to avoid saying something insensitive.
So there are ways that you can help someone who you know is disabled, and there are also ways for you to make them feel more comfortable as well. All you have to do is follow the above tips to get started.