A-Z Popular Blog Encyclopedia Search »
Culture Guides

8 Basics of Disability Etiquette

 , updated on
Disability etiquette are sets of guidelines for interacting with people with disabilities that are provided by various disability rights organizations. The following are a few examples of common guidelines.

Avoid Assumptions

The absolute fundamental rule of disability etiquette is to avoid making assumptions. Don't assume that someone got into a car crash. Don't assume that persons with disabilities have similar personalities or tendencies. Don't assume that someone with a disability isn't likely to be the one to pay the check at a restaurant.

Person-First Language

Terms such as "persons with disabilities" are preferred to "the disabled." This applies to any disability such as "persons who are blind or visually impaired." Always focus on a person before a disability. Avoid jargon, even if it sounds positive such as "differently abled."

Social Norms

Apply the same social norms that you would with anyone else. For example, avoid overly personal questions related to a person's disability. Another extremely poor practice, is to talk about a person to their companion or aide as if they weren't there.

Ask Before Helping

Don't assume that someone with a disability needs help. If a person looks like they would appreciate some help, ask them. If they say no, don't take it personally.

Ask How to Help

It is best to ask exactly what help is required. Avoid grabbing someone's arm or pushing a wheelchair without asking.

Equipment is Personal

People may view their equipment such as a wheelchair as personal space. Avoid touching equipment without asking. For example, resting your hand on a wheelchair during a conversation may be just as awkward as resting your hand on someone's shoulder.

Don't Assume Limitations

Let people make their own judgement calls regarding what they can and can't do. If you're organizing a company outing, invite everyone.

Be Flexible

If someone makes a special request for an accommodation it means they are trusting you as a business or individual. A flexible and constructive approach to such requests is the only way to go.
Next: Ban the Average


This is the complete list of articles we have written about culture.
American Culture
City Culture
Cultural Capital
Cultural Diffusion
Cultural Diversity
Cultural Issues
Cultural Rights
Culture Change
Culture Shift
Culture Shock
Digital Culture
Epic Meaning
Experience Age
Game Culture
Global Culture
High Context
High Culture
Human Behavior
Human Culture
Low Culture
Mass Culture
Material Culture
Modern Culture
Nonmaterial Culture
Performing Art
Personal Culture
Physical Culture
Pop Culture
Rite of Passage
Shared Experiences
Shared Meaning
Social Expectations
Super Culture
Traditional Culture
Traditional Knowledge
Youth Culture
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.