How Do You Empower a Person with Disabilities?
The best way to interact with people who have disabilities is to see them the way they see themselves, which can definitely be a challenge as we exist in our own minds. Take cues from the person with disabilities. If they demonstrate a high level of independence, then don’t try to do things for them or “baby” them in any way.
If a person with disabilities requests assistance, then help. In either case, you allow them to showcase how they wish to be treated.
Here are some simple yet effective ways to empower those with disabilities.
1. Study Disabilities So You Can Respond Better
Every disability is different. Some disabilities are mental, while others are physical. Therefore, depending on the type of disability and its context, every disability type needs its own considerations.
As you come in contact with different people and their disabilities, take the time to do your own research and learn about each specific disability. How is this empowering? When you know the particular challenges of a specific disability, you are better positioned to honor the human who lives with that disability.
2. Become a Friend First
People with disabilities often face a number of stereotypes, including the idea that they are misunderstood, lonely, or socially awkward. When you take the opportunity to befriend individuals with disabilities, you get to know the person first and foremost.
They are sure to feel more empowered if they find that you are genuinely and truly interested in them, not just their disability and a corresponding cause. Love is an empowering feeling, and genuine interest on your part is sure to make them feel safe, validated, and empowered enough to speak up for their needs in society.
3. Help Disabled People in Their Fight Against Discrimination
Always partner with those who are disabled in their fight against discrimination, but remember that you are there to be a support and not to be in the spotlight. While some may be suspicious of a person without a disability to help with a cause, others will be thrilled to have you there. Together, we can make a better world.
4. Open Up Your Workplace to be More Inclusive
Workplaces often do not have a lot of employees with disabilities, and that should change. Take the time to join an inclusion committee or speak to your boss about creating a more inclusive environment. Find tasks or jobs that a disabled person can do in your workplace and consider hiring them.
Not all disabilities render a person unable to work. So, see how inclusive you can be with disabled people in the workplace.
5. Disability Isn't an Identity
A disability isn't an identity. Disabled people have a life outside of their medical condition. They are ordinary people with fears, hopes, dreams, and other desires.
Remember, while you may seek to empower a disabled person, they may not take too kindly to your endeavors. Therefore, empower those who wish to be empowered. Wait patiently for those who are yet to come to terms with their disabilities.
Supporting disabled people in their quest to have an inclusive world is a big deal, whether in technology or education.
At StrongGo, we believe in creating a more accessible and inclusive environment, and that includes the built environment. Discover our TekWay detectable warning systems today.