Posted on 22/03/2019
Communication Aid Etiquette Guide
One of our mottos is to see the person and not the disability and part of this involves treating those who have a disability, the same way as you would any other individual. When an individual has a communication device, many people don’t realise that they are in fact focusing their attention on the disability when talking to them – accidentally in most cases. In order to avoid this, we’ve put together a guide to minding your manners!
Many communication aids feature a screen as well as a voice output system and users of such devices often find it rude when the person they are talking too reads from the screen and responds, before letting the augmented voice kick in. It’s similar to interrupting someone when they are speaking and cause great frustration to individuals as it takes much longer to form sentences on communication devices than it does to speak. For this reason, you should always be patient and let them finish what they are saying before answering!
While communication aids might seem a bit novel if you’ve never seen them in action before, it’s just part of everyday life for those who rely on them. You might run into an AAC device user when they are pressed for time, so in this instance it’s best to err on the side of common courtesy and take note of each-others non-verbal cues, or just ask!
For those relying on communication aids to do their talking, it can be a much more physically exerting task than it is for people who have a voice. Using their eyes, hands or gestures to control a device requires more energy and as a result, users may become weary more quickly. Once again if an individual is starting to look tired, give shorter responses or even ignores the question, understand that they are perhaps tired and not necessarily being impolite.
If you would like more advice about communication aids or communicating with persons with disabilities, get in touch with our team on 01691 624 222.