Relax! Remember that a person who has a disability is a person — like anyone else. If you don’t know what to do or say, allow the person who has a disability to help put you at ease.
Do not assume anything. If you have a question about what to do, how to do it, what language or terminology to use, what assistance to offer, ask the person with the disability. That person should be your first and best resource, and he or she shares responsibility to make others aware when assistance is required.
When talking or writing about persons with disabilities, emphasize the person, not the disability. People with disabilities are not conditions or diseases. They are individual human beings. For example, a person is not an epileptic but rather a person who has epilepsy. Don’t label people with the name of a condition or as part of a disability group.
Treat each person as an individual, with unique needs, talents and abilities. Just because a person has a disability, does not mean his or her needs are the same as anyone else with that same disability.
Remember this: the greatest obstacle that people with disabilities face in life can be the NEGATIVE ATTITUDE of others!
Negative attitudes toward people with disabilities are born out of: Fear – of doing something that might insult, embarrass or harm a person with a disability Ignorance – lack of understanding of the obstacles that must be overcome by people with disabilities in adapting to their environment and Indifference – “it’s not my problem”.