Non-Wheelchair Users Etiquette
Often it is the case that people don’t know how to interact with wheelchair users and worry they might say or do the wrong thing. This info graphic entitled ‘Etiquette for Non-Wheelchair Users’ aims to provide you with a handy guide and also hopes to highlight the importance of looking beyond the chair and the disability at the person. The first section of this info graphic details what to do when meeting with a wheelchair user.
Meeting someone in a wheelchair is no different to meeting anybody else. On a first meeting don’t be afraid of personal contact, offer to shake hands as this opens up the channel of communication. A vital point this info graphic points out and one many are guilty of is talking directly to a caregiver (if one is present) instead of addressing the person in the chair. This is a big no-no as not only is it insulting to the wheelchair user is it plain rude! The next section of this info graphic covers conversing with a wheelchair user. From a comfort level if the conversation is going to run longer than a few minutes find somewhere to sit down so yournot constantly looking down and the wheelchair users won’t be straining to look up at you. For any conversation eye contact in paramount, make natural eye contact and don’t stare at the chair. Personal Space is the final section of pointers in this info graphic.
The key fact to remember here is to treat the wheelchair user’s chair as part of their body. Don’t inappropriately move it around without being asked or rest your foot on it. You wouldn’t rest your foot on someone’s arm given the chance so treat the chair in the same way. The final two areas this guide look at are about asking questions. You aren’t expected to know everything, it is in the wheelchair user’s best interest to further your understanding and to make you both feel more comfortable. Finally ‘Kid’s Stare’ shows that there is nothing wrong with children being inquisitive and confused by wheelchair users, use this as an opportunity to educate them on this! Read on to find out more etiquette for non-wheelchair users.
Originally posted 2014-02-06 10:39:54.