Feeling awkward about interactions? The Tennessee Disability Coalition offers some tips on disability etiquette:
• Speak directly to the person with the disability, not just the people with him or her.
• Don’t patronize, talk down or lavish praise for having the “courage” to overcome a disability.
• Be patient and give your undivided attention, especially with someone who speaks slowly or with great effort. Don’t try to finish their sentences.
• Avoid mentioning the person’s disability unless he or she talks about it or it is relevant to the conversation.
• Offer assistance, and wait for it to be accepted before assisting. If you are declined, don’t insist.