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”
- 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