Accommodating nursing students with disabilities

Although this is a useful skill, experts estimate lip-reading is only effective up to 50% of the time.

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The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace. Its development has been achieved through the collaborative efforts of ODEP, West Virginia University, and private industry throughout North America.

Let's begin with a few general guidelines for engaging and interacting with people with disabilities in a courteous, thoughtful manner.

When introduced to someone with a disability, a non-disabled individual may react to this person's appearance or affected speech.

However, the American Foundation for the Blind notes that vision-related words like "see" and "look" are part of the common vernacular, and should be used freely without worrying that a person who is blind or visually impaired will take offense.

"Making reference to colors, patterns, designs, and shapes" is also encouraged.If someone who is blind or visually impaired requests assistance, their companion should offer them an elbow by brushing their hand against the individual's hand.Keep a reasonable pace while walking, and feel free to alert your companion about doors, escalators, steep inclines, and other features of the path ahead that may pose danger.The disability section of the University of Northern Iowa's Office of Compliance and Equity Management also notes that people should avoid apologizing for using "gotta run," "see you later," or other expressions that inadvertently relate to certain disabilities."These expressions are part of everyday language," the author notes, "and it is likely the apology will be more offensive than the expression." In an article for Challenge Magazine, Ric Garren highlights the importance of interacting with wheelchair and mobility device users without drawing undue attention to their disability.Proper etiquette states that referring to someone as a "person with a disability" is more preferable than calling them a "disabled person." This can also be applied to specific disabilities; for instance, "person who is blind" is more respectful than "blind person." Putting the "person first" identifies them as a fellow human, rather than someone defined by a disability.

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