The common image of someone with a physical disability who uses a wheelchair is a stereotype. For example, physical disabilities can result from arthritis, heart or lung conditions or amputations. Here are some tips, but there are more in the Resources Section:
- People with physical disabilities often have their own ways of doing things, so it's a good idea to ask before you help.
- Respect your customer's personal space. Don't lean over them or on an assistive device.
- Don't move items or equipment, such as canes or walkers, out of the person's reach.
- If you have permission to move a person in a wheelchair remember to make sure your customer is ready to be moved and that you describe what you are going to do beforehand. Don't leave the individual in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position such as facing a wall or in the path of opening doors.
- In some situations, inform your customer of the accessible features in the immediate environment (automatic doors, accessible washrooms, elevators, ramps, etc.).