How to Treat People with Illnesses or Disabilities

Learn how to treat people with illnesses or disabilities from manners expert Faye de Muyshondt in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi, I'm Faye de Muyshondt from Social Sklz.

Here to talk to you about how to treat people with illnesses and disabilities. It's often a really difficult situation that we find ourselves in, on how to address people with illnesses or what to say or how to act or how to handle people with disabilities. But a few things to keep in mind, typically, people with illnesses disabilities don't want to be treated any differently than you always treated them or than you treat anyone else.

So, address people with disabilities or illnesses, the same way you would with anyone else. The really difficult elements of disability and illness is whether or not we address it. And, generally speaking, it's fine to address and illness or disability, it's just the way you ask it. So, rather than saying what's wrong, you might say, "May I ask if this is a life long injury or if this is something new or something that you acquired recently?" But it's all about how you phrase it. Based on their response, you can gauge how much further into the conversation, you can get. So the person is willing to share with you more information about their disability or their illness, you can go ahead and ask more questions about it. And oftentimes you'll find that, people are very keen on sharing information about disabilities and illnesses with you.

More often than not, people tend to not address the illness or not address the disability and skirt around the topic. And oftentimes, many people want to discuss their disability and the illnesses. As the person shares with you a little bit more detail, you can also offer a bit of empathy or a bit of sympathy. You might say, "I'm sorry to hear that, or wow, that must've been really difficult." But you really want to be listening and engaged and feeling the experience of that person.

But in terms of how you treat that person, and how you interact with that person, you do so, the exact same way that you would do with anyone else. So those are just a few tips on how to treat people with illnesses and disabilities.

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