I just finished taking the quiz relating to people with disabilities. My results were fair, showing competence in some areas and complete ineptitude in others. I was reminded of a couple of things while reviewing the results.
1. An other ability (or disability) is only a part (or extension) of a person, not their complete identify. So instead of referring to someone as disabled, it is more appropriate to say that they are a person with a disability. I am guilty of this recently when referring to a sector of students as learning disabled, instead of students with learning disabilities.
2. Although I am still receiving some mixed messages from different resources, offering help when someone with a disability is struggling is not bad. I am reminded that I would ask a person without a disability if they needed help, and I should offer the same courtesy to someone with a disability. However, we cannot assume that one needs help and just step in.
3. Finally, even as I write this post, I am concerned about using the right terminology and not saying anything that would offend. I believe that if there is hesitancy with these situations, that it is most likely not an issue of being offensive, but of uncertainty. Education, flexibility and understanding are all important to help one another communicate more effectively.
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