Communication and customer service for people with disability
- You can change the way you think about people with a disability either as a friend, family, or customer etc.
- You can get training on how to communicate efficiently with them and how to provide useful assistance when it’s needed.
- You should treat people with disability with respect as you do all people without disability.
- Treat each person with disability as an individual with their own unique likes and dislikes.
- Always focus on the person, not their impairment.
PHOTO BY PERRY GRONE ON UNSPLASH
- Address to the person directly and not to the other people who may be with them (such as a friends/family or support worker).
- Don’t be shy to ask if the person wants help; however do not assume that they always will need assistance and trust their response even if they decline your help. If you’re having a chat that will last more than a few moments with someone in a wheelchair, bend to eye level or pull up a chair.
- For people who may have a learning difficulty or intellectual disability speak clearly and listen carefully, make sure their understanding.
- Be careful of patronising.
- Allow the person time to ask questions and try not to rush them. Do not overload them with lots of information. Reassure your customer you are there to help if they forget the information.
For people who have hearing impairment or are Deaf
- Always face the person so he can read your lips.
- Avoid bright lights behind you since it makes it difficult for him to see your lips.
- Use your normal tone of voice and volume.
- Try to move out of the way of background noise.
- Try to have a pen and paper on hand to assist with communication for a person who has hearing impairment or is deaf
For people who are vision impaired or blind
- Always identify yourself by name. Ask for their name so you can talk to them directly and so that they know you are addressing them and not someone else.
- If someone with visual impairment or blindness asks for assistance to go somewhere ask which side you should be on and offer your arm so they can hold just above your elbow.