customer service - Disability Services Commission

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The Disability Services
Commission has developed this
training package for public
authorities to use in staff training
Customer service
Section Four
This section covers:
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Appropriate language
Communicating with people with disability
Communication about people with disability
Positive language
Disability etiquette
Appropriate language
• Language shapes and reflects the way we view the
world.
• ‘Putting People First’ – acknowledges the person before
their disability.
Communicating with people with
disability
• Treat people respectfully and with patience
• Never make assumptions about what a person can or
can not do
• Speak directly to the individual
• D not attempt to speak for an individual or finish their
sentences
• Never ask ‘what happened to you?’
Communication about people with
disability
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Do not define a person by their disability
Avoid stereotypes, labels, generalisations and assumptions
Avoid words and phrases with a negative connotation
Avoid focussing unnecessarily on a person’s disability
Portray people positively and recognise what they can do
Recognise many barriers faced are created by attitude and
the physical environment
Positive language
Examples:
• Person with a disability
• A wheelchair user
• Person with paraplegia
• Deaf / hearing impaired
• Person with an acquired brain injury
• Accessible toilet
• Accessible parking
Disability etiquette
• Ask if, and what, assistance may be required
• Respect a person’s dignity, individuality and
independence
• Treat everyone with respect and courtesy
• Speak directly to the individual and never speak about
the person as if they are not there
• Don’t be patronising — as if performing everyday tasks is
exceptional
Resources
• Putting People First
• You Can Make a Difference to Customer Relations for
People with Disabilities in Local Government and State
Government Agencies – DVD
• You Can Make a Difference to Customer Relations for
People with Disabilities in the Hospitality, Tourism, Retail
and Entertainment Industries – DVD
All available at www.disability.wa.gov.au .
Download
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