Society has made progress toward full inclusion and equal rights for people with disabilities. But work still needs to be done. The Rocky Mountain ADA Center released two new free fully interactive online courses for the public to learn about disability etiquette to help.
“We felt it is time to have a one-stop hub where everyone can learn how to better leverage compassionate and accurate language when addressing people with disabilities,” Rachael Stafford, director of Rocky Mountain ADA Center, said.
What you will learn about disability etiquette
The first course helps students understand ADA’s definition of disability and how to engage a person with a disability. The second course expands on the first, offering suggestions on best practices for interacting with people with specific disabilities.
“How you address someone whether revolving around race, sexual orientation, gender or disability means something,” Stafford added. “We live in a compassionate country, and we are trained early on how to speak properly so they feel welcomed, included and accepted.”
Both courses are easy to navigate and understand. The courses feature information, stories and videos. They are linked to fun quizzes. Each course takes about an hour. The course allows students to take breaks, remembering where the student stopped.
The online course teaches students that regardless of disability, etiquette is about treating people like people. It also teaches that just because you can’t see the disability doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Students will receive information about communicating with people with particular disabilities such as people who use wheelchairs, are deaf or hard of hearing or have invisible disabilities. The courses stress an attitude of patience and kindness. They emphasize the need to ask a person with disabilities if they would like help, rather than making assumptions about what someone else needs or wants.
The Rocky Mountain ADA Center team developed these courses during the last year. Release a few weeks ago, Stafford says the courses have seen well over 100 users from all walks of life and parts of the United States.
Check out the disability etiquette courses here.
More courses are on the way. They include accessible voting and detailed information on service animals. The new courses are expected to be available in the next couple months. Keep an eye out on Rocky Mountain ADA Center’s website for updates.