Disability Etiquette

10 Tips for Disability Etiquette

Posted by Liz Taylor Nov 26, 2013

Did you know that one out of every five individuals (49 million Americans) have a disability? A few quick tips to make people with a disability more comfortable:

  • Look at and speak directly to the person, not through a companion, care-taker, or interpreter.
  • Offer to shake the person’s hand, even if it appears as if they have limited use of their arms or have an artificial limb.
  • Do not automatically assist an individual in a wheelchair without permission.
  • If you will be speaking with an individual in a wheelchair for more than a couple minutes, find a place where you can sit down to give the individual a more comfortable viewing angle.
  • Don’t pet or feed service animals or guide dogs as they are working.
  • A person’s wheelchair is part of his/her own personal space. Never move, lean on or touch the wheelchair without permission.
  • Do not shout at a hearing impaired person unless they request you to. Just speak in a normal tone but make sure your lips are visible.
  • When meeting someone with a visual disability, identify yourself and others with you (example: “Jane is on my left and Jack is on my right.”). Continue to identify the person with whom you are speaking.
  • If you go out to dinner with an acquaintance with a visual disability, ask if you can describe what is on the menu and plate.
  • When walking with someone with a visual impairment, offer them your arm for guidance.

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“How refreshing and timely. From the texting generation to the baby boomers—the art of etiquette is sadly disappearing. Whether you just need a touch-up or a full immersion, Liz, is the person to teach you the skills to appear confident, elegant and professional in any business situation. Her energetic and engaging style will make this one of the most enjoyable seminars you have ever taken! Liz is awesome!”

—Chuck Bokar, Principal, Design Resource Center

“Absolutely superb! Liz has an amazing knack for presenting her concepts in a thought-provoking and clear style. Her ideas and suggestions would enhance anyone's ability to bridge the gap between business and etiquette. She clearly has a deep understanding of not only the topic, but the thought processes that go into creating better interpersonal relationships out of socially awkward situations. I highly recommend her and her coursework...she will help your business!”

—Brad Guck, District Manager, Administaff

“Liz, Thank you so much for coming to Indianapolis to help us grow our skills as professionals and as people. Your presentation helped us address issues with grace, candor, sensitivity – as well as fun! You were fabulous!”

—Betsy Hamlett, Director of Sales for Kenra, Ltd.

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