Feeling awkward about interactions?
The Tennessee Disability Coalition offers some tips on disability etiquette:
∎ Speak directly to the person with the disability, not just the people with him or her.
∎ Don’t patronize, talk down or lavish praise for having the “courage” to overcome a disability.
∎ Be patient and give your undivided attention, especially with someone who speaks slowly or with great effort. Don’t try to finish their sentences.
∎ Avoid mentioning the person’s disability unless he or she talks about it or it is relevant to the conversation.
∎ Offer assistance, and wait for it to be accepted before assisting. If you are declined, don’t insist.