Inclusion For Equality
When we recognise and value every individual and work together for inclusion, it enables a society where everyone can participate and reach their full potential. We can all be STARR Bajans!
- When approaching a person with a disability, be polite, introduce yourself, and ask how you can help. Wait until your offer is accepted, before trying to assist someone.
- Treat people with disabilities with the same respect as you would anyone else. Don’t assume what they can or cannot do.
- Always identify yourself and others who may be with you when meeting someone with a visual disability. When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking.
- Focus on the person, not the disability and don’t bring it up unless it’s relevant.
- Remember not all disabilities are visible. Get to know the person.
- Always speak directly to the person with disabilities, even if they’re accompanied by someone.
- Listen attentively when talking with people who have difficulty speaking and wait for them to finish. Never pretend to understand; instead repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond.
- Be aware that some persons with disabilities may need written information in different forms, such as electronic text, large print, braille or audio.
- Verbal instructions can also be very helpful. If a person is blind or has low vision, consider describing the layout of the area to them. Include any obstacles like stairs or furniture.
- If a person who is blind or has reduced mobility asks for assistance, offer your arm or shoulder for them to take hold of, rather than holding theirs.
- Tap a person who has a hearing disability on the shoulder or wave your hand to get his or her attention, try to face the light source and keep ay obstacles away from your mouth when speaking. Remember not all deaf persons can read lips.
- If a person is hard of hearing, make sure you’re facing them, don’t cover your mouth or speak with your back turned.
- Don’t shout, don’t use big hand gestures, or speak extra slowly to someone who is hard of hearing or has difficulty understanding- just speak clearly.
- Never patronize people of short stature or people in wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.
- Try to put yourself at eye level with a wheelchair user when talking and speak directly to them.
- Don’t push a person’s wheelchair if they haven’t asked you to, and never lean on or hang things from a person’s wheelchair.
- Try and make sure wheelchair users and people of short stature can reach counters. If that’s not possible, come around to the front of the counter to talk to them, and offer a stable surface to write on if needed.
- Do not lean against or hang on someone’s wheelchair or scooter. Bear in mind that people with disabilities treat their wheelchairs or scooters as extensions of their bodies.
- For persons with disabilities and their Service Animals, never distract a work animal from their job without the user’s permission.
- Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use common expressions such as “See you later” or “Did you hear about this?” that seem to relate to a person’s disability.
- When dealing with a person who is autistic use direct, simple language and allow time for a response. Don’t present too much information at once, too much extraneous chat may be confusing.
- Whenever possible, provide visuals for those who are intellectually challenged.