Respecting and Working with Disabled People in the Workplace. Part 1

Every person has a physical shortcoming. We should admit it: no one is perfect. Each and every one of us has at least has a flaw or two; and even if we are flawed, we want to be respected as humans.

The same goes for people with disabilities: they are human, and they should be respected.

One must remember than when he or she works with a disabled, attending to the disabled in a different manner is an error. People are people, with disabilities or without, they should be treated equally. What can you win when you respect them; when you treat them equally? You can gain their confidence, their friendship, and you will have camaraderie in your workplace.

We can say that the right choice of words is the first step towards respecting the disabled colleague. After all, the right choice of words is respecting everyone. Respecting people with physical disadvantage in the workplace means:


1.)    Labeling.

Avoid this as much as possible. DO NOT label anyone. Do not refer to able people as ‘normal’, ‘healthy’. Avoid saying ‘handicapped’; avoid saying the disability to refer to the person (i.e. “Sarah the def?”): this is being insolent.

2.)    Getting Too Sensitive.

While being understanding of one’s disability is good, being overly sensitive is overdoing it.

3.)    Averting your eyes in an ill-mannered way.

Do not turn away your eyes in avoidance. This is disrespectful, even to people without disabilities, because it shows arrogance. Refrain from doing so as much as possible


1.)    Regulate your voice.

Talk to everyone in a medium volume where they can hear you. You don’t have to talk to a disabled in a loud way. Why do you have to? Talking in a boisterous manner can cause discomfort and annoyance to everyone; disabled or not.

2). Let them what they are assigned to.

Do not help people with disabilities if they don’t let you, or if they don’t ask for it. Helping them when they can do the job is equivalent to telling them they are not able to do the work.

Working with the Disabled in the Workplace

At the workplace, never underestimate someone who is physically different, I cannot stress this more. Or better yet, do not underestimate anyone. Always treat them as capable colleagues as they are. Use these tips to improve your camaraderie at work with your disabled colleague or client.

Part 2 ….