Working Together: Ensuring People with Disabilities Feel Welcome and Included in the Workplace
Learn how to communicate and interact with people with disabilities in a respectful way.
Through all phases of employment, a basic understanding of “disability etiquette” is essential. Disability etiquette means respectful ways to communicate with and about people with disabilities.
To ensure a disability-inclusive workplace culture, employees need to understand the basics and have the opportunity to learn and refresh their knowledge. This training matters when employees interact with coworkers, candidates, and customers.
Tip: Always rely on common sense to guide your interactions with people with disabilities; behave in the same way with people with disabilities that you would with anyone else.
This page offers some general guidelines and best practices for interacting with people with disabilities in the workplace. These are basic recommendations and some suggested etiquette. Use your best judgment and consider the personal preferences of the person with whom you are interacting.
There are a number of resources that can help employers educate their workers about creating a disability-inclusive work environment, including EARN's Working Together online training. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) also offers disability etiquette information and the training video Disability Awareness to Increase Your Comfort, Confidence and Competence. Local disability organizations or service providers, including Centers for Independent Living, are also often available to provide in-person training.