Accommodation Tips: Ideas to use with any person with a disability

Table of Contents

Creating Accessible Meetings

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:

  1. The location is completely physically accessible with accessible restrooms, water fountains, etc - reference the PCC Access Maps.
  2. 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."
  3. Consider whether the event should have ASL Interpreters or CART in place proactively.
  4. 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.
  5. If the room lighting must be reduced, ensure that participants can still see the Interpreter's signs and lip movements.
  6. Microphones are used to amplify speaking voices.
  7. Tables and chairs accommodate a range of body sizes and are arranged so that people using wheelchairs can move around easily.

General Tips

  1. Know where accessible restrooms, drinking fountains, parking spaces, telephones, and elevators or ramps are located.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Service dogs are trained to perform specific 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.

Meeting and Greeting

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"

  1. Treat everyone as adults.
  2. Always use a normal tone of voice when extending a verbal welcome. Don't raise your voice unless requested.
  3. 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.
  4. When introduced to a person with a visual impairment, let him or her extend their hand for you to take.
  5. 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?"