Communicating with Respect

Intellectual disability does not define who a person is, and each person has their own personality, interests and skills.

When you’re talking with a person with a disability, just be yourself!

Make sure you:

  • Establish and maintain eye contact
  • Do not assume the person cannot speak for themselves
  • Talk directly to the person – do not talk to their carer or support worker
  • Never speak about a person as though they do not understand
  • Do not assume a person living with intellectual disability can’t do things

It is also important to avoid talking about ‘fixing’ a person or ‘making them better’ – they may be happy with the person they are and you have no right to suggest they are not okay.

Always ask someone with intellectual disability before offering help, they may not want your assistance and they may also be more than capable of taking care of their own needs.