Thursday, March 18, 2010


Sifu have been asked how to deal with OKU's

When you're around someone who has a disability, be relaxed and talk about mutual interests. It's okay to talk about the disability if it comes up, but don't pry. Some other helpful hints include:
  • Always address the person first, not the disability. For example, say "a person with a disability" instead of "a disabled person." Likewise, say "people who are blind" rather than "the blind," and avoid old-fashioned terms such as afflicted, crippled or lame.
  • Speak directly to someone who is hearing impaired, rather than to an assistant. Don't shout, but speak clearly and slowly and remember that facial expressions and gestures are important.
  • Be patient if the person needs extra time to do or say something.
  • If the person uses a wheelchair, sit down to talk so you're at the same level.
  • Listen carefully and patiently to a person with a speech impairment. Avoid speaking for the person, and try to ask questions that require short answers.
  • Don't touch a guide dog or a wheelchair or crutches used by the person unless you're asked to do so.
  • Offer help if asked or if the need seems obvious, but don't insist.
Some Advice for Family and Friends
Those who are close to someone with a disability may experience many of the same feelings their loved ones have: anger, frustration, fear, sorrow and even guilt.
If you are part of the day-to-day life of a person who has a disability, your emotional as well as physical support can be an invaluable source of strength. Here are some ways to help:
  • Come together with other family members; don't let the situation divide you. While you may all react differently to a disability, the cooperation of everyone will make for a smoother transition.
  • Learn the facts about the person's disability. Knowing what to expect can help prepare you for future challenges.
  • Know how and when to help. Respect the person's feelings. Ask a person who uses a wheelchair if he or she would like assistance before you start pushing.
  • Foster self-esteem. Be positive and encourage independence, to the extent possible. Help your loved one look for new ways to achieve his or her goals.
  • Look for help. Find out about local support groups and community services that can help both the person with the disability and the caregiver.
Millions of Americans have some type of disability, and many more — their families and friends — are also touched by the challenges of dealing with disability. While a disability may be a fact of life, it should not be the focus of a person's existence. The key to coping is knowing what resources are out there and finding the people, programs and organizations that can help you. Take control of your life now, and seek the help you need to live life to the fullest.

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