How To Deal With Someone In A Wheelchair

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This will show the people who are not sure how to deal with someone that is in a wheelchair

Submitted: July 07, 2008

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Submitted: July 07, 2008

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Things You’ll Need:

* Etiquette Book

Step 1:
Relax.

Step 2:
Smile.

Step 3:
Be open-minded in your approach.

Step 4:
Remember most people using wheelchairs are not chronically ill.

Step 5:
Offer to shake hands. If the person cannot, you'll be greeted in another fashion.

Step 6:
Speak directly to the person in the wheelchair rather than to any companion.

Step 7:
Look at the person when you talk, rather than at the wheelchair.

Step 8:
Sit at the person's level if the conversation will be an extended one.

Step 9:
Remember the wheelchair is part of the user's personal space.

Step 10:
Understand the person regards the wheelchair in the same way you think about your car: it is simply a tool for mobility.

Step 11:
People using wheelchairs realize children are curious. If a child asks a question you feel is embarrassing, don't chastise the child. Let the disabled person handle the situation.

Step 12:
A polite offer of help is acceptable if the situation warrants it. For example, many wheelchair users find opening doors awkward.

Tips & Warnings

* It's normal to be curious as to why someone uses a wheelchair, but let the subject come up naturally.
* Colloquialisms like, "I've got to be running along," come naturally to everyone. You'll notice disabled people also use them as part of their routine conversations.
* If you invite a person who uses a wheelchair to accompany you somewhere, check in advance to make sure your destination is accessible.
* "What's wrong with you?" is a question no one wants to hear.
* The wheelchair is not the person.
* A person has a disability rather than being a disabled person - "normal" is not the opposite of "disabled."
* People "use" wheelchairs rather than being "wheelchair-bound" or "confined to a wheelchair."
* If you're curious about the wheelchair itself, ask directly, but remember not to handle it like a car on display at a dealership.


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