Clever video explains how to positively interact with people with disabilities, from the perspective of people with disabilities

We’ve talked before about how sometimes it’s difficult to know the correct way to act around people with disabilities. Luckily, a variety of people with disabilities are generously taking the time to explain, as part of the Washington D.C. Government Sensitivity Training. And really, it’s quite simple, as the friendly and clever video below explains through tips on interacting with people with different types of disabilities, such as people who are deaf, or use a wheelchair or other assistive devices, or are blind. The first step is acknowledging that people with disabilities are “people first”, and need the basic rights that everyone needs, such as respect. The key to a successful interaction, and forming a relationship, is to focus on the person rather than the disability. If you want to offer assistance to someone with a disability, ask them first, rather than assuming that your method of helping is the correct way. If you want to touch a person’s assistive device, or service dog, again, ask first, and don’t be offended if they say no. In the end, maintaining positive interactions with people with disabilities depends on respect; as stated in the video: “Just treat us the way you would want to be treated, and we’ll all be okay.”

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of DisAbility Rights Galaxy.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.