Information is fundamental to overcoming prejudice and discrimination. With information, we exercise respect for human diversity.
Whenever you want to help, ask what is the best way to proceed. Do not be offended if the offer is refused, it will not always be necessary. A disabled person is not a sick person! When leaning on the wheelchair, for example, it bothers the person with disability. This equipment complements their mobility.
To start a conversation with a deaf person, wave or softly touch their arm. It is not correct to use the term deaf-and-dumb (which means a deaf person without speech). There are deaf people who speak normally and those who communicates using the sign language.
You can naturally use terms like “blind”, “see” and “look” with a blind person. The blind people also use them. When helping them, always offer your arm, never “grab” them to try to walk them.
Do not underestimate the person with intellectual disability. Give them attention. Greet them normally. Help them only when needed or when requested. Do not confuse intellectual deficiency with mental illness. The person with intellectual disability usually understands their reality.
When you get close to a deaf-and-blind person, touch them lightly in their hands to signal that you are by their side. Some deaf-and-blind people communicate by placing their hands on our jaws to feel the vibration of the sound and the movements we are producing.
The most important thing is to ensure the equality of opportunity. Softening the differences is to say: “We will accept you without looking at your disability.”
We should respect people exactly as they are. Respect for human diversity is the first step towards building an inclusive society!