Things to Consider When Interacting With People With Disabilities

Handle Disability With Empathy

How to interact with the people with disabilities is never an easy question to tackle as answers vary from case to case. Most families find this journey both challenging and rewarding, with a lot of time, energy, and goodwill invested in the process.

On the one hand, it takes some time to adjust to the situation, especially with family members with special needs, and on the other, you can actually feel and see yourself help another human being, help them lead a better, a more quality life. 

It is unfortunate that, no matter how hard one tries to understand and help, there’ll always be a catch, and a big one: you can’t fully understand a disability unless you have it, whether it’s an intellectual or a physical one. However, that doesn’t mean we should ever stop trying. The more kind, compassionate and understanding everyone is, the stronger bonds are created.

Whether someone close to you has a disability, or you just want to be educated on the matter, read through the following tips the BriteLift staff put together.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Putting yourself in the position of someone with a disability is probably the smartest thing you can do while you interact. Just imagine what you would feel like if you were in their shoes, think about the way you would want people to behave around you, talk to you, what type of difficulties you might be experiencing, etc. In at least trying to understand what they feel like, you’ll be able to understand their behavior and reactions, among others.

Don’t Focus on the Disability

People with a disability are very much aware of their situation and they don’t need anyone actively reminding them of it. Although asking about their situation is acceptable on your first encounter, don’t drag the conversation further in the relationship. 

The nature of someone’s disability or the disability itself shouldn’t be your primary focus; rather, focus on acting naturally around them, treat them as an equal, just as you would anyone else.

Recognize That Some Disabilities Are Not Visible

Sure, someone using non-medical transportation with BriteLift or a wheelchair-accessible ride is a good enough clue that a person is suffering from a disability, but what about those who aren’t?

The fact someone isn’t in a wheelchair or isn’t displaying any visible signs of disability, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a disability. Some people suffer intellectual or other types of disabilities that aren’t immediately visible to the naked eye. They are often called “invisible disabilities.”


For instance, if someone’s parked in a handicapped spot and they don’t appear to have a disability, don’t confront them. They probably have a good reason why they parked there. So, the best strategy is to act kindly and respectfully towards everyone and not jump to conclusions. Just looking at a person doesn’t actually help you figure out if they have a problem or not.

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Understand the Bigger Picture

As BriteLift staff explains it, what usually happens is that people get anxious or angry with people who, according to them, are “faking their disability” to get attention.


This leads to frustration and hurt feelings on both ends which is never good, especially not for the person with a disability. Do understand that some disabilities vary from day to day: the fact a person needed a wheelchair yesterday doesn’t mean they’ll need it today. Maybe they’ll just need a cane or a helping hand. This doesn’t mean they’re faking their disability: they just have good days and bad days.

Don’t Play with Service Dogs

Service dogs are well trained and cute, but they are not regular dogs you can cuddle with all day long. They are trained to help the person with a disability and do their necessary performance tasks. If you disrupt the dog’s regular routine, you may distract the dog from helping their owner perform. Also, don’t give a service dog any treats or food without the owner’s permission.

BriteLift is providing the best Chicago non-emergency medical transportation near me for people with special needs and seniors who need to get places, without any transportation limitations, and at the best prices.

Now Serving South-East Wisconsin

Great news! BriteLift is now serving the southeastern Wisconsin area. Same great advantages, with an extended service area.

Contact our 24/7 customer service for  a free quote. Reserve a ride with BriteLift today by calling 847-792-1212, downloading the free mobile app, or booking online.

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