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Disability etiquette

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.

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Don’t stare: Acknowledge person first, disability second

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

In the seven years since a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, Ben Trockman has stopped paying attention to stares from strangers, or at least he’s stopped being bothered by them. “I tell people they’re staring because of how tremendously good-looking I am,” said Trockman, 24, who is studying public relations at the University of Southern Indiana …

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