Having a disability is more common in society than we might consider; however, it is an unfortunate reality that most people still don’t know how to act around people with special needs or how to make society more inclusive for them. Living an independent and enjoyable life is just as important for people with disabilities as it is for any other person. Knowing the importance of inclusion for people with disabilities is already a big step, and as you have come this far, the following are some things that you can do to make them feel more accepted in society.
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People with disabilities might share some similar problems; however, they all have their strengths, and it is rude to assume what’s possible for them and what’s not. For example, someone with hearing loss might be able to read your lips perfectly and understand what you’re saying, so speaking loudly and using unnecessary hand gestures might seem condescending. Hence, it is better to refrain from assuming and acting normally around them.
People with disabilities are passionate about how to be successful in their professional lives. Oftentimes, it’s the society that doesn’t give them enough opportunities to show their talent. If you own a business, you should employ them and see how they work in your organization. It can be a game changer for your business, as people with disabilities can be really smart. You should also make the workplace appropriate for them as they will require some accommodation, and as an employer. You will need to make sure that your employee is given all the support they need.
Use Appropriate Language
Language is an essential part of making them feel included but is often overlooked. People usually use terms like handicapped, disabled, crippled, etc., words to address people with disabilities which sounds extremely derogatory. Instead of using these terms, it is better to simply refer to the disability by its name. People with disabilities know about their situation, but calling them words like handicapped can make them feel inferior, which is not good. You need to be careful with words around them and try to be as respectful as you can.
See Them As An Equal
Having a disability doesn’t mean that they always need special treatment. It can make them feel dependent at times. While it is advised to be mindful of their situation and be careful. It doesn’t mean that you need to sympathize with them. They want to be seen as equal, whether at the workplace or in their personal lives. Treat them as an equal, listen to their opinions, and include them in important decisions and events.
The easiest way to be inclusive of people with disabilities is by asking them what they want you to do. As we said, different people have different strengths and expectations. So it is better to ask the person around you how they’d like to be treated and do what they say. This can save you so much trouble, and the person will also be happy with your thoughtfulness.