2.16 Helpful Attitudes & Etiquette

Appreciate Abilities: Students with disabilities, like all students, do some things well and others things not so well. Focus on what they can do rather than what they cannot do.

Wheelchair Etiquette: A wheelchair is part of a person's "personal space". Do not lean on a chair, touch it, or push it, unless asked to do so. When pushing a wheelchair, ask the person how he or she wants you to proceed. When you are talking with a student in a wheelchair, be seated so the student does not have to peer upward at you.

Architectural Barriers: Be alert to possible architectural barriers in places you want to enter with a person with a disability. If the person is on crutches or in a wheelchair, opening a door is appreciated. Also, watch for poor lighting, which may impede communication for students with low vision or those who are deaf-blind.

Elevators: When an elevator is full, consider stepping off when an individual who has mobility challenges needs access. This will help the student who uses a wheelchair or other mobility device to be on time for classes.

Asking for Help: Many students with physical challenges will ask for help when they need it. You may ask if a student needs assistance, but do not insist.