Every shop assistant, bank teller, waitress, to name a few, should bear in mind that people with disabilities, along with their families and friends, travel, shop, do business, engage in activities in the community, send their children to school and attend school events the same as the rest of us. So, by providing the help that welcomes them, we are able to offer then better service, so making their lives easier.
Do we all treat people with disabilities with respect and consideration? Do we show patience, optimism as well as the willingness to find a way to communicate even if it is not straightforward? Do we bear in mind that the person opposite us needs to experience helpful customer service? Dare we assume what type of disability or disabilities any particular person is experiencing? What if this person’s disability is not visible? Are we sufficiently patient? A person with a disability often takes a little longer to understand and respond.
Maybe it’s difficult to understand what the person is saying, so it’s okay to ask them to repeat their request. It’s important for all of us to listen carefully and to make eye contact but it’s not okay to stare. It is of the utmost importance to speak directly to the disabled person and not to their interpreter or caregiver. Very often these people are physically handicapped and perfectly able to speak up for themselves. So let’s refrain from communicating with the care-giver standing behind them. That’s so insulting and hurtful.
Let’s behave to others the way we would like them to behave to us.