Accommodation Tips: Ideas to use with any person with a disability
Table of Contents
If you are responsible for making arrangements for meetings which may have people with disabilities in attendance, you may wish to consider the following points:
- The location is completely physically accessible with accessible restrooms, water fountains, etc - reference the PCC Access Maps.
- A statement should be included on any registration or marketing materials stating: "If you have any special accommodation needs, please contact [department's name and contact person] in advance."
- Consider whether the event should have ASL Interpreters or CART in place proactively.
- Handouts that are distributed to participants should also be available in accessible electronic format, and if requested, should be made available in alternate formats such as large print or Braille.
- If the room lighting must be reduced, ensure that participants can still see the Interpreter's signs and lip movements.
- Microphones are used to amplify speaking voices.
- Tables and chairs accommodate a range of body sizes and are arranged so that people using wheelchairs can move around easily.
- Know where accessible restrooms, drinking fountains, parking spaces, telephones, and elevators or ramps are located.
- Don't make people discuss their special needs in front of other people. If others are near, invite the person to move to a more private area. If this is not possible, try lowering your voice and turning your back to the other people to show respect for the person's privacy.
- You may wish to make it a practice of asking all callers if they have any special needs you should be aware of to make their visit to PCC better.
- Most people with disabilities try to be as independent as they can and will ask for assistance if they need it. Go ahead and offer assistance but don't insist.
- If your offer of assistance is accepted, don't be embarrassed to admit that you don't know how to help and ask for instructions.
- Feel free to use words like "walking" or "standing" in conversations with people using wheelchairs, or phrases such as "see you later" when chatting with people who have visual impairments.
- Service dogs are trained to perform spcific tasks that assist individuals who experience disability. They are working animals responsible for their owners' safety. Never pet the animal or otherwise distract a working dog. See our policy and handouts related to service animals on campus.
To set a positive tone, always use appropriate terms when communicating with and about people who experience disability. Avoid terms such as "handicapped" and "victim" and "wheelchair student"
- Treat everyone as adults.
- Always use a normal tone of voice when extending a verbal welcome. Don't raise your voice unless requested.
- When introduced to a person with limited hand use or who wears an artificial limb, you may wish to shake the left hand or touch the person on the shoulder or arm.
- When introduced to a person with a visual impairment, let him or her extend their hand for you to take.
- Always speak directly to the person with a disability, not to an interpreter or any other person accompanying him. Never turn to the person with him and ask, "What does he want?"