Updated: Jul 19
In our society, people with disabilities have faced major challenges because of exclusion. If we want to create a more equitable world, it is important for us to make an active effort to address this issue. Not only are these actions the right thing to do, but they can also help create a better world where someone you may know or will know in the future could have a disability. Below are 5 easy ways that all of us can be more inclusive to people with disabilities.
1. Speak with individuals who have Disabilities
People with disabilities may have others who help them better communicate with other people including interpreters, caretakers, and translators. However, when we speak to people with disabilities through these helpers, it may demoralize the person with a disability. Therefore, in order to encourage people with disabilities and include them in our society, we must communicate with them as we do with others who do not have disabilities.
2. Remove Disability Identifiers
When referencing people with disabilities, it is important to address them or refer to them as normal people with a special trait. Instead of describing a person as "the mentally challenged individual," describe that person as "an individual who is mentally challenged." Even though it may be a minor correction in syntax, the way we speak about people with disabilities can have exclusivity effects.
3. Use Easy Language
When printing documents or publishing forms, it is important to include language that is simple enough for anyone to understand. People with disabilities may not have had the opportunities or resources to receive the level of education that many of us have received. In order to include them in all of our activities, we must make it simple for people with disabilities to understand our form of communication.
4. Ensure that Events are Accessible
If an event is located on the top floor of a building, and the only way to get up there is the stairs, then the event is inaccessible to people who use wheelchairs. This inaccessibility leads to the exclusion of certain people with disabilities from this event. Therefore, in order to create an inclusive environment for everybody, it is important to make proper accommodations when hosting events such as checking to make sure that there is an elevator at the location if it is at the top floor.
5. Reflect on your Actions
It is vital to reflect on your previous actions of inclusivity to determine if you believe they were effective. Additionally, it is important to also think back on all your other actions and determine if you believe you were being exclusive. By taking this time to self-reflect, we can all learn from our mistakes and create a more equitable future for everyone.