PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’ve all done it. We’ve said or done the wrong thing around a person with a disability. One local hospital is trying to prevent those situations.
The Moss Rehab program called It’s Just Respect features videos and tips to avoid those uncomfortable moments when you do the wrong thing.
Julie Hensler-Cullen, Director of Quality and Education at Moss Rehab in Elkins Park, says the short videos highlight an issue and how to address it.
“One talks about a lived experience of one of our artists who has visual impairments,” said Hensler-Cullen, “and how it’s so important to her that people let them know when they’re there and when they’re gone so she’s not talking to the air.”
Twenty-eight-year old Rachel Shandler of Newtown uses a motorized wheelchair. She urges people to assume she knows how to operate it safely. Also, if you think someone needs help, speak up.
“Instead of like staring at me, or when my parents are around, instead of staring at me at an amusement park and they’re helping me get on or off a ride and wondering if these people need help, just ask,” Shandler said. “I have a voice. I can say yes, no.”
The program stresses respect and patience. Give a person with a speech disability time to communicate and visual cues can be a lifeline to those with visual issues.
Hensler-Cullen says the program is available to local businesses, schools and community groups.