- Cerebral palsy or CP affects the central nervous system.
Therefore, people with CP have difficulty controlling their muscles.
This can look like slurred speech and involuntary body movements.
- It's important to think before you act; get all the facts
before you act on your first impressions. A person who may appear to
be drunk, sick or have a medical emergency might in fact have CP or
- Based on the appearance of someone with CP, your first
impulse may be to discount what they have to say. Follow the tips
for interaction with persons who have speech disabilities.
- People with Tourette syndrome may make vocalizations or
gestures such as tics that they cannot control. If a person makes
vocalizations during a conversation, simply wait for her to finish,
then calmly continue.
- A small percentage of people with Tourette syndrome
involuntarily say ethnic slurs or obscene words. An employee or
other person with Tourette syndrome will benefit form the
understanding and acceptance of co-workers and others.
- The more the person tries to contain these urges, the more
the urges build up. It may be helpful for a person with Tourette to
have the option to leave the meeting or conversation temporarily to
release the build-up in a private place.
is characterized by seizures that happen when the electrical system
of the brain is working properly. The seizures may be convulsive, or
the person may appear to be in a trance.
aware that beepers and strobe lights can trigger seizures in some
a person has a seizure, you cannot do anything to stop it. If he has
fallen, be sure his head is protected and wait for the seizure to
a seizure has ended, the person may feel disoriented and
embarrassed. Try to ensure that he has privacy to collect himself.
|HIV and AIDS
stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. AIDS stands for Autoimmune
Deficiency Syndrome. People with HIV or AIDS have impaired immune
systems, so their bodies have trouble fighting off infections.
of their impaired immune system, they are at significant risk of
picking up an airborne infection. If you have a respiratory
infection or any other easily transmittable illness, be considerate
of all your customers and employees and stay home, if possible.
be afraid to interact with people with HIV or AIDS. You canít catch
HIV from casual contact such as shaking hands or being touched by a
person with AIDS.
people with AIDS feel stigmatized. By simply greeting or shaking the
personís hand, you are letting him know that he is accepted. It will
mean a lot to him.
with mental retardation (sometime referred to as developmental
disability) learn slowly. They have a hard time using what they have
learned and applying it from one setting or situation to another.
to the person in clear sentences, using simple words and concepts.
Help her understand a complex idea by breaking it down into small
use baby talk or talk down to people. Just gauge the pace,
complexity, and vocabulary of your speech according to hers.
that the person is an adult and, unless you are informed otherwise,
can make her own decisions.
can be difficult for people with mental retardation to make quick
decisions. Be patient and allow the person to take her time.
signage with pictograms can help a person who has mental retardation
to find her way around a facility.
with mental retardation rely on routine and on the familiar to
manage work and daily living. Be aware that a change in the
environment or in a routine may require some attention and a period
disabilities are lifelong disorders that interfere with a personís
ability to receive, express or process information.
they have certain limitations, most people with learning
disabilities have average or above-average intelligence. You may not
realize that the person has a learning disability because he
functions so well.
with dyslexia or other reading disabilities have trouble reading
written information. Give them verbal explanations and allow extra
time for reading.
be surprised if you tell someone very simple instructions and he
request that you write them down. Because spoken information gets
ďscrambledĒ as he listens, a person who has a learning disability
such as auditory processing disorder may need information
demonstrated or in writing.
the person how you can best relay information. Be direct in your
may be easier for the person to function in a quiet environment
without distractions, such as a radio playing, people moving around
or loudly patterned curtains.
(or Acquired) Brain Injury:
with traumatic brain injury have had damage to the brain usually
from trauma, such as an accident or stroke. People with a brain
injury may have a loss of muscle control or mobility that is not
obvious. For example, a person may not be able to sign her name,
even though she can move her hand.
person with a brain injury may have poor impulse control. The person
may make inappropriate comments and may not understand social cues
or ďgetĒ indications that she has offended someone. All of these
behaviors arise as a result of the injury.
you are not sure that the person understands you, ask if she would
like you to write down what you were saying.
person may have trouble concentrating or organizing her thoughts,
especially in an overstimulation environment, like a crowed room.
You might suggest going somewhere with fewer distractions.
WORD ABOUT CONFIDENTIALITY:
may really care or you may just be curious about a person with a
disability who is in crisis, suddenly ill, or misses work for
unexplained reasons. In spite of your concern, please respect the
privacy of a person with a disability. Allow him to discuss his
situation if and when he feels comfortable doing so.