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 “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.