We are excited to announce we are adding a new department to provide therapy for people with developmental delays and their caregivers and family members. This department is called “Collaborations”. Collaborations is currently in the process of working on becoming a state certified outpatient mental health clinic.
Archives for April 2014
The following information was taken from a brochure by the Tennessee Disability Coalition
Fear of the unknown and lack of knowledge about how to act can lead to uneasiness when meeting a person who has different abilities. Remember – a person with different abilities is a person with feelings. Treat him or her as you would want to be treated.
You can’t always see someone’s different abilities. If a person acts “unusual” or seems different, just be yourself. Let common sense and friendship break down any barriers you may encounter.
When meeting and talking with a person who has a different abilities:
1. A handshake is NOT a standard greeting for everyone. When in doubt, ASK the person whether she or he would like to shake hands with you. A smile along with a spoken greeting is always appropriate.
2. Speak directly to the person, not just to the ones accompanying him or her.
3. Don’t mention a person’s disability, unless he or she talks about it or it is relevant to the conversation.
4. Treat adults as adults.
5. Be patient and give your undivided attention, especially with someone who is speaking slowly or with great effort.
6. Never pretend to understand what a person is saying. Ask the person to repeat or rephrase, or offer a pen and paper.
7. It is okay to use common expressions like “see you soon” or “I’d better be running along.”
8. Relax. Anyone can make mistakes. Offer an apology if you forget some courtesy. Keep a sense of humor and a willingness to communicate.
When meeting someone with different abilities that affect learning, “intelligence”, or brain function:
1. Keep your communication simple. Rephrase comments or questions for better clarity.
2. Stay focused on the person as he or she responds to you.
3. Allow the person time to tell or show you what he or she wants.
When you are with a person who uses a wheelchair:
1. The wheelchair is part of his or her personal space. Do not push, lean on or hold onto a person’s wheelchair unless the person ask you to.
2. Try to put yourself at eye level when talking with someone in a wheelchair. Sit or kneel in front of the person.
3. Rearrange furniture or objects to accommodate a wheelchair before the person arrives.
4. Offer to tell where accessible restrooms and water fountains are located.
5. When giving directions to a person in a wheelchair, consider distance, weather conditions, and physical obstacles (curbs, stairs, steep hills, etc.)
Myth #1: “Accommodations are too expensive!”
- Most accommodations (81%) cost under $100 and in 2003, 73% of employers found that their employees with disabilities did not require accommodations. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida found that accommodations made for employees with disabilities benefited its existing aging workforce.
- Walgreens’ Anderson, South Carolina Distribution Center found the training and technologies that help workers with disabilities do their jobs help all employees do their jobs better.
Myth #2: “My Workers’ Compensation Rates will be affected!”
- Workers’ Compensation rates are based on the nature of the business, the jobs employees perform and use of benefits. People with disabilities have not been found to increase workers’ compensation rates.
- Walgreens’ Anderson, South Carolina Distribution Center employs 185 workers who have disabilities (43% of the workforce). Over the course of 9 months, Walgreens saved $17,000 due to fewer incidents caused by its employees with disabilities. Incidents that occurred were less costly, there was less property damage and the workers with disabilities returned to work in less time.
Myth #3: “They cannot perform the job!”
- A 1990 DuPont study which involved 2,745 employees with disabilities found that 92% of employees with disabilities rated average or better in job performance compared to 90% of employees without disabilities.
Myth #4: “They all quit!”
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Workforce Preparation found that hiring a worker with a disability is both a retention and an employment strategy – workers with disabilities have higher than average retention rates and company loyalty.
- Marketing studies in 2003 found that 54% of households patronize businesses that feature people with disabilities in their ads. Disability friendly businesses earn the lucrative and loyal patronage of people with disabilities, their families and friends.
Don’t let fear and uncertainty keep you from hiring people with different abilities!