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Interacting With the Disabled – The Right Way

Be it at work or at the supermarket, we often come across people with disabilities. We see them on a wheelchair or using crutches. Or maybe, they have one arm less. Naturally, we have the urge to help them. But we are not sure of one thing – how do we approach them? 

A lot of people are unaware of how they should interact with the disabled without offending them. If you have ever felt a similar question, let us get you at ease. The short answer to this conundrum is – do nothing different. 

While you may feel overcome by the urge to help the disabled and be extra nice to them, do not overdo it. On a daily basis, the worst challenge they face is not the lack of regular movement, but discrimination. So, here are the three things you should keep in mind while interacting with a disabled person. 

  1. Abilities Over Disabilities
    The disability possessed by a person is simply a characteristic of who they are. It’s the abilities they have that define them. Treat them like you would treat a person with similar abilities.
  2. Ask First, Help Later
    If you wish to help a blind person cross the street or someone on crutches to walk over an uneven sidewalk, ask first. If they refuse your help, respect it.
  3. Sympathy? Nope
    People with disabilities have embraced the way of their life. Do not ever show them pity since there is a good chance they will be offended by it. Instead, give words of encouragement on how they overcome the challenge and face life like everyone else.

Above all, if you still find yourself unsure of how you should be interacting with them, simply ask them. 

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