How you can help
HERE ARE SOME “RULES” THAT YOU MIGHT SELF-ENFORCE FOR HELPING ALL PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
- Always treat people with disabilities as equals. All people want to have friends, fun, and experience life to the maximum. People with disabilities are no exception. Never be afraid, skeptical, or embarrassed to approach someone with a disability. People with disabilities have just as much fun!
- Always ask before you help. People with disabilities have varying levels of independence. Never assume someone with a disability has a low-level. If someone looks like they’re struggling, ask before you help. A person may welcome help, or they may ask that you let her be independent; but even if she looks like she’s struggling, she may just want to become more independent, which requires practice in everyday situations.
- Never assume someone does or does not have a disability. Everyone is different. Sometimes, people with disabilities may act, feel, or think differently than you. Don’t assume that for this reason someone has a disability, simply treat him/her as an individual because all people should be treated equally.
- Do not stare. Sometimes it is an eye-opening experience to see someone with a disability in public. However, people with disabilities have lives just like everyone else. You are certainly allowed to look, but do not stare at a person with a disability. Simply view them the way you view others.
- Respect and understand confidentiality. People with disabilities have a right to privacy. They are not obligated to tell you about their disability. If someone does tell you about his/her disability, do not assume that he/she is comfortable with you telling other people about his/her disability. Always ask permission to discuss the disability before you do it.