Working with Individuals with Disabilities
Question: What is a disability?
The Department of Labor describes disability as: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person’s major life activities (for example, caring for one’s self, speaking, breathing, or learning). A disability need not be obvious; such conditions as learning disabilities, psychological illnesses, asthma, or infection with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) may qualify as disabilities under the law.
Strategies for Inclusion
- Without it, strategies needed are unknown
- Do not say “disabled child” or “autistic boy”
- Use “the CHILD with a disability” or “BOY with autism”
- What do we mean by “people first language”? See http://successde.org/pdfs/008peoplefirstlanguage.pdf
- Using labels makes individuals more aware of their differences not their similarities
- Find ways to celebrate/include the differences when possible
- Be sure to provide for reasonable accommodations
- You may contact me for training/strategies/additional information on specific disabilities, etc.
- Ask for as much information as possible on registration forms to ensure you are prepared
ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments
JOE article on cooperative extension and ADA
People With Disabilities: A Communication Guide –
The Ultimate Camp Resource
University of Washington