Helping People with Disabilities: 8 Keys

For Helping people with disabilities Physical, visual, auditory, motor or intellectual, it is necessary to improve social, cultural, family and personal aspects.

Many people have some type of disability in our society, so we should acquire skills that allow us to interact better with them.

How to treat disabled people

It is everyone's job to achieve adequate social integration, and fail to see people with disabilities as less valid or less autonomous.

How to promote the social inclusion of the disabled

It is not a matter of establishing general facilities for any disabled person, but that resources should be adapted to the needs Specific to each person.

These are the areas where we believe that the challenge of integrating people with disabilities should be emphasized:

1- To make them able to access all the services and resources existing in the community

To do this, it is necessary to improve the infrastructure, that the products carry writing in Braille so that blind people can Access to them, that the newsletters have an interpreter who speaks the language of signs, etc.

In short, it is intended that all people can be autonomous and independent, that do not need the constant help of the people of their Around to perform everyday tasks.

2- Conceiving people with disabilities as active in the inclusion process

We have to put aside the idea that we are the"non-disabled"people that we have to work to integrate the disabled.

People with disabilities have to work actively to achieve a process of social inclusion.

It is the task of all to fight because we have the same opportunities and that there are no situations of marginalization or rejection.

3- Improving education

It is necessary that the teachers receive a more complete formation to be able to attend to all type of population.

Teachers are those who must adapt their teaching to the specific needs of children - whether or not they have disabilities - and not the other way around.

In addition, they should not only focus on academic goals, but make sure that no child is mocked or rejected, and get everyone Relate satisfactorily.

4- Deep changes in the workplace

It is not enough to provide a person with a disability with access to a job.

You have to go much further: that you feel good with your colleagues, with your tasks, you do not find architectural barriers, etc.

For example, if a person who uses a wheelchair needs to use a photocopier and the photocopier is in a high place, the disabled person You will need to request assistance constantly.

Therefore, again we find an example in which it is necessary to improve accessibility to all resources.

And it is that, otherwise, a situation of dependence and inequality will be maintained.

How to help people with disabilities

Disabled man

One of the great challenges is to ensure that society has a standard conception of this situation, and that there is no rejection, fear, avoidance or compassion.

Here are some general tips for dealing with people with disabilities:

1- Do not show rejection, nor tolerate it

Surprisingly, some people still avoid dealing with people with disabilities - whether in class, at work, or in life Social-.

In such a competitive environment as ours, a person with some cognitive or motor deficit may be perceived as an obstacle in the Persecution of our objectives .

Although, as we have said before, our society is moving forward in this aspect, we should put more effort in achieving the integration At all levels.

A population that can be especially cruel is that of children and adolescents.

As parents, brothers or educators, it is our duty to instill in them values ​​that are proper to a respectful society.

If you tolerate rejection gestures or words, you are participating in it.

2- Do not feel sorry or compassion

Surely you have felt sorry for a person who was in a wheelchair, or a blind person waiting his turn to cross a step Pedestrians

Many people with disabilities say that they may become accustomed to using a wheelchair or walking stick daily, but they will never get used to the Samples of compassion from the people around him.

As they commented, these signs of compassion become more hurtful than attitudes of scorn or indifference.

3- Do not try to help them if they do not need your help

Disabled child

You may have tried to act correctly by offering your help to a disabled person.

This overprotective attitude is as common as offensive, since it leads us to think that the other person is"inferior"to us, when they only have different capacities.

For example, you would be surprised to know the acoustical capacity that blind people develop, which allows them to walk on the street, orienting themselves, etc.

Therefore, you should not assume that you need your help until you ask for it openly.

In addition, you should provide your help to the extent you request it, do not overdo it. For example, if a blind person asks you the number of the bus that
Has stopped, you do not have to accompany him the whole trip.

4. Make them autonomous

This is related to the previous section, about not offering your help if it is not necessary.

The objective of disabled people is to be able to stand on their own, to be autonomous and to leave aside the role of dependent.

It is recommended that you do not ask for help for everything you can do for yourself.

In some cases, such as people with Down Syndrome, they can sometimes ask for help because the task is boring or difficult - such as tying The laces of his shoes.

In these cases, the minimum possible assistance should be provided, since people with disabilities must also make certain efforts to master daily Homeworks.

In fact, the limitations are not imposed by their disabilities, but themselves.

We will now discuss some aspects to take into account regarding interaction with people with specific disabilities.

Specific guidelines for interacting with people with disabilities

Here we will address the visual, auditory, motor and intellectual disability:

5-Visual impairment

-Language verbal:

- It should be clear and concise, avoiding to ramble and speaking in a normal tone.

- Avoid using Nonverbal language To answer questions. It is something basic but in our day to day we use it constantly, without realizing it.

- Do not think that verbs like"to look","to observe"or"to see"are considered taboo words. People with visual impairment use them daily, so That you do not have to censor your language.

- Remember also that you should look them in the face, as if you did not present this disability.

-Social interaction:

- Do not be uncomfortable talking to a visually impaired person.

- Introduce yourself when you arrive and say goodbye when you leave, so that you are aware that you are no longer present.

- Say hello again if you enter the room again.

- Explain how many people are in the room.

- If you see that you are in a situation of danger, as the elevator doors are closed, it is better to use words like"high"instead of"careful" Since this is very unspecific. In stopping your departure, you must explain how dangerous the situation is.

6-Hearing impairment

- Deaf people often read the lips of people, so it is important that you vocalize clearly and slowly.

- Do not cover your mouth with your hand or objects.

- You do not have to raise your tone of voice.

- Gestures with your face as you normally do, not too much and exaggerated.

- Attends to the expressions of the hearing impaired person. They are usually very expressive, so you will understand perfectly when you have not
Understood, or he wants you to repeat something.

- If the person does not understand you, use other words.

- When an interpreter accompanies the person, go to the person while you speak and maintain eye contact with the person, not with the interpreter.

- Do not bother about the situation, since you can get to understand them without great difficulties.

7-Motor impairment

When the person uses crutches:

- Adjust your walking pace to yours.

- Do not assume that you need help when transporting objects or climbing stairs. Offer your help only when you request it.

- If the person falls, do not raise him without asking beforehand if he needs help - and how you can provide it, so as not to hurt him.

- With people using prosthetic limbs, try not to stare at it or avoid looking at it. It is advisable to act with

When using a wheelchair:

- To talk to the person in a wheelchair, stand at the same height - or sitting in front of her.

- Do not support things in the wheelchair, since it is their living space.

- If you ask for your help, ask how to handle the wheelchair.

- Normally, it is discouraged to lift it by the arms support.

- To lower a step, lean back and lower the chair by supporting the rear wheels.

8-Intellectual disability

- Speak naturally and simply. If it is an adult, you do not have to address it as you address a child.

- Answer your questions clearly and make sure you understand.

- Be patient and wait until I finish talking. Do not complete your sentences.

- Do not take an overprotective position. If you let him try to work, he will become a much more autonomous person.

- It encourages you to interact with other people.

As you can see, you only need some basic guidelines to have a good deal with people who have a disability.

Generally, we should interact naturally and satisfactorily, instead of feeling uncomfortable.

After all, what makes us Same Is that we are all Different .

Models of disability

These are the three great models that have predominated in our society from a few decades to the present:

Punishment model

At this stage, it was believed that the disability was a punishment sent by God, for having acted in an incorrect way.

So it was something to be ashamed of - both the victim and his family.

Family members tended to conceal the problem and, until a few decades ago, did not offer specific help to the disabled, so Could develop autonomously.

Ignorance and ignorance were the factors that most contributed to the maintenance of this model, which, fortunately, is no longer given in our country.

Medical model

Subsequently, the concept of rehabilitation of sensory, mental and physical disability was changed.

The disabled person was no longer blamed, but it looked like a disease that had to be acted upon.

Thus, it was considered that the problem was the person in question, who was the one who had to adapt to society - instead of attributing to society the duty To adapt to the disabled.

The disabled person was considered as a passive being who should be waiting for the medical performance.

Inclusive model

At present, we are in a stage in which the social, academic and labor inclusion of this population is pursued.

From this perspective, it is intended that persons with disabilities lead a dignified and equitable life, relying on their Capacities .

It is not a question of denying that they have limitations, but of facilitating their overcoming.

As you can see, it has managed to have a conception of the most real and human disability over the years.

However, we still have a long way to go so that people who have a disability feel completely integrated.

Here are some of the things that should be improved.

And you have experience dealing with people with disabilities? What advice would you give?


  1. A. Palacios, F. Bariffi. Disability as a human rights issue (2007).
  2. Fabio Adirón. What is inclusion? Diversity as value (2005).
  3. G. Maritza Céspedes. The new culture of disability and rehabilitation models (2005).

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