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Serving People with Disabilities - Introduction

Serving People with Disabilities - Introduction

Openly communicating and responding to your customers’ needs is the key to excellent customer service for all.

Accessible customer service is about:

  • not making assumptions about what a person can or cannot do because of their disability
  • inclusion – making everyone feel welcome and included
  • understanding that people with disabilities may have different needs

Serving customers with disabilities is also about showing sensitivity and respect. A good starting point is using appropriate language and terminology.

Use the right words

  • Use “disability” not “handicapped.”
  • Remember to put people first. Say “person with a disability” rather than “disabled person.”
  • Reference specific disabilities when appropriate, such as a person with a developmental disability, a person who is blind or has vision loss, or a person who uses a wheelchair.
  • Avoid sympathetic phrases such as victim of, suffers with, confined to a wheelchair, physically challenged, or stricken with a particular illness or disability.

Now, let’s take a look at tips and good practices for serving people with different types of disabilities.