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Thread: How to interact with a person with a disability

  1. #11
    Senior Member Accountable's Avatar
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    Re: How to interact with a person with a disability

    I make it a point to be as normal as possible and avoid sounding patronizing. Generally I try to keep it light. It's easy with ladies. I can flirt a little and joke around when appropriate. When offering help, I usually say something like "I can't let anybody thing my Momma didn't raise a gentleman!"

    Working with Katrina evacuees, I remember one gent who broke into tears because of the levels I'd go to to help him. It was easy to tell him that he'd do the same for me, if situations were reversed.

    A few weeks ago I struck up a conversation with a one-legged lady. She was young, so I'd assumed she was a war vet. We talked about her being a financial counselor, and she said it was completely different from what she used to do. I asked the next natural question: "What did you do before?" She said she was a competitive ballroom dancer.
    A dozen awkward encouragements came to mind to say, then I thought - what would I say if she had both legs? "Boy, that IS different!" and we both had a good laugh.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Marie5656's Avatar
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    Re: How to interact with a person with a disability

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    Here is another one I thought of...
    It is OK to ask what thier disability is, but remember, the person may not want to tell you, so do not feel badly.

    Also, if you are with a young child, who will naturally be curious, let them approach and say hi if they want, often the person will welcome a curious question from a child, rather than a stare and being yanked away by the parent.

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