People First: A Guide to Interacting with People with Disabilities - DHS 4151

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We can all make this goal a reality by using language that reflects our respect for people with disabilities. While the language you use is important, it is equally important that you demonstrate your respect for people with disabilities through your behavior. The most important thing to remember when you interact with people with disabilities is that they are people. Their disability is just one of the many characteristics they have. People with disabilities have the same needs we all do: first and foremost among them is to be treated with dignity and respect. When you interact with people with disabilities, focus on their abilities, not their disabilities. People with disabilities are unique individuals who have a wealth of knowledge, skills, talents, interests, and experiences that add tremendous diversity, resourcefulness, and creative energy to our society. Remember, people with disabilities may do things in different ways than people without them however, they can achieve the same outcomes. Think of the person first, not their disability.

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