As an avid supporter of groups that accommodate people with disabilities, I attended the 2018 Disability Conference. It was part of my advocacy to go to such events as much as I could, and I felt happy with how this specific one turned out. A lot of disabled people came out to learn about different disabilities and how to keep on moving forward despite their new situation.
Still, what caught my attention was a band of young adults in the crowd. They did not seem to know other folks there, but they were showing genuine interest in the conference. I could not help but greet them to figure out why they attended the event.
“We want to understand the best way to treat a disabled person,” one of the young adults said. “We don’t wish to offend anyone in the future due to our naivety about such conditions.” This answer warmed my heart so much that I introduced the young adults to the event organizer, and they volunteer with us annually up to this day.
Now, if you are thinking about the same thing as those curious individuals, you need not attend a conference to get answers. Here’s how you can treat a disabled person correctly.
Never Pity Them
Helping or looking at someone with pity in your eyes can be insulting, especially if they have a physical disability. You can be of service without making them feel like a burden.
Stay Supportive Without Being Overbearing
Basically, you can offer assistance to a disabled person, but don’t insist too much. Being overly supportive can cause them to question their significance in the community.
See Them As Your Equal
People with disabilities may appreciate it more if you treat them like non-disabled folks. This idea ties in with the truth that your extra kindness can be seen as pity, and that’s not what you want.
The life of an individual with a permanent disability is especially challenging in the beginning. It becomes more difficult than it should be, though, if you don’t treat them well.
Remember the ideas mentioned above to be able to communicate with disabled folks without an issue.