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Communication

When communicating with a person with a mobility disability, it’s useful to make sure the person is comfortable first. Wait to begin a conversation until seating has been arranged. Do not assume a person using a wheelchair has a an intellectual disability or is hard of hearing. Communicate as you ordinarily would until a request for an alternative is made.

  • Some people with mobility disabilities have pain or stamina issues. Sitting or lying down may allow them to concentrate more fully and make it easier for them to communicate.
  • When discussing procedures for medical exams or talking through a court procedure, you can call attention to times the person will be expected to move. If the person feels that some of those movements may be difficult, you can collaborate on a plan to make things easier.
  • When asking questions, be sure to respect the person’s experience and knowledge. You may not know exactly how much room they need to clear a doorway, but they will.