With millions of people of all ages struggling with disabilities in work environments, social settings, and general outings, we have rounded up some different pointers on how to make environments disability-friendly!
- Communicating respectfully
Communication is unbelievably important when it comes to helping peers with disabilities. Using appropriate language and etiquette is vital as you don’t want to come across as rude or offensive. Asking the person how they want to be recognised, their name and pronouns being one of the main things.
Stick to the word ‘disability’ as other words like “physically challenged” and “differently-abled” can come off patronising. You want to stay positive and radiate respect within the environment they’re in at all times.
Make sure you have resources that are accessible to all. Closed Captions (CC) must be on all audio and video files to ensure the person can understand what is happening. Alt Text/Alternative Text is also an important feature to consider, this goes on images to describe what the material consists of. The iPad is a great example of technology that allows the person to interact and get involved with activities.
- Teaching your friends/family/staff with updated policies and ways to be inclusive
You can do this with the following ways:
- Recognising the talent of people with disabilities
- Creating a step-by-step plan to hire and retain employees with disabilities
- Make and retain a commitment to enable people with disabilities to build peer relationships and learn social skills
- Providing any further training to make inclusivity successful
- Update facilities to make them more accessible to those who may struggle i.e., fitting ramps, automatic doors, etc.
- Understanding the role of carers/assistants
You can find lots of online resources for more ways on incorporating methods and policies into their environment.
- Changing culture and priorities
This means communicating with peers and ensuring that they feel respected and openly welcomed. While this may seem like an obvious step, but there are many citizens with disabilities (even hidden ones!) that may feel like their opinions don’t matter or they don’t feel welcomed into a specific environment.
There are many different articles to help guide you to becoming a welcoming and inclusive environment whether this is in a workplace or finding a location to meet with friends.
If you are unsure of what else you can do to make a disabled person feel included and safe, then respectfully ask what their opinions are and listen for feedback.
It can be intimidating for them to honestly tell you about their honest thoughts on a topic so please be patient and treat them with kindness.
These are just a few of hundreds of ways to incorporate disability support into any environment.
To learn more, visit our website today to discover how we help spread the message of equality and disability support!