Disability Etiquette
La Crosse Public Library
UW-L Physical Therapy

Disability Etiquette

Tips for Everyone on Disability Etiquette
for Business Owners or Employees

People with a disability are just like everyone else: They are individuals.

1. Don't assume a person needs help. Offer assistance only if the person appears to need help just like you would for anyone. If a person accepts your assistance, ask "how" you can help.

2. A person's physical space is important, so respect it. Assistive devices are part of a person. These include wheelchairs, scooters, canes, and other equipment.

3. Speak directly to the person, not to someone standing next to him/her. Make eye contact and be friendly, just like you would to anyone.

4. Don't make decisions for a person about participating in activities.  You can help by asking if they might need any accommodations.

Photo of a woman helping a man in a wheelchair with his groceries

Tips for Everyone on Disability Etiquette

This section include information on interacting with a person who has a disability.  Examples of effective communication and things to avoid are provided for you.

Taken from: Disability Etiquette: Tips on Interacting with People with Disabilities. The United Spinal Association.
Author: Judy Cohen, Access Resources. Illustrations: Yvette Silver


For Business Owners or Employees

Reaching Out to Customers with Disabilities
  •  This site has 10 lessons that tackle:
 1. Policies & Procedures
 2. Customer Communications
 3. Accessible Design
 4. Removing Barriers
 5. Alternate Access
 6. Maintaining Accessibility

 7. Transporting Customers

 8. Cost Issues

 9. ADA Enforcement

10. Information Sources