Top 10 tips for interacting with people with disabilities

  1. DO use a normal tone of voice when speaking to people with disabilities.
  2. When offering assistance, do it in a dignified manner with sensitivity and respect. Be prepared to have your offer declined. If the offer is accepted, listen to and accept instructions.
  3. DO NOT proceed to assist if your offer to assist is declined.
  4. DO talk to the person, not about them.
  5. DON’T lean on a person’s wheelchair. It’s part of their physical space.
  6. DO allow a person with a visual impairment to take your arm (at or about the elbow). This will enable you to guide rather than propel or lead them.
  7. DO NOT be afraid to use the word “see” in phrases like “see you later.” Blind people talk to each other in the same way.
  8. When speaking to a blind person, DO always say who you are, and say goodbye when leaving a room so that they are not left speaking to an empty space.
  9. DO NOT hesitate to laugh when a blind person tells a joke about his blindness. This is quite common among blind people.
  10. DON’T be afraid to make friends. “We have likes and dislikes just like you,” says a member of the community. “Get to know us!”


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