A Few Things to Remember
attitude can make a big difference.
One of the most difficult
barriers people with disabilities face is negative attitudes and perceptions by
other people. Sometimes those attitudes and perceptions are deep-rooted
prejudices, based in ignorance and fear. Sometimes they are just unconscious
misconceptions that result in impolite or thoughtless acts by otherwise
well-meaning people. In either case, they form an obstacle to acceptance and
full participation in society for the person with a disability.
This guide is not a list
of strict rules and regulations. It is an attempt to foster understanding,
clear up misperceptions and help you relate to people with disabilities.
Disability is often
perceived as a yes-or-no proposition. You either are disabled or you are not.
The truth is disability is a continuum. At one end are people without any
disability and at the other end are people with severe impairments. Most of us
fall somewhere in the middle. But, weíre all people and we want to be treated
With that in mind, and at
the risk of being repetitious, here are some general tips on relating to people
who may have special needs.
a person with a disability needs your help. Ask before doing.
MAKE EYE CONTACT
and talk directly to the person, not through the personís companion.
and words that suggest the
person should be treated differently. Itís OK to invite a person in a
wheelchair to go for a walk or to ask a person who is blind if he sees what you
with disabilities with the
same respect and consideration that you have for everyone else.
Section 504 and the ADA do not promise
the student will be successful in his or her college experience.
The laws promise that students with
disabilities will have an equal chance to show whether or not they can be