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Interviewing a Person with Disability Essay

People, even those with disabilities, should at all times be treated as ordinary people who also need the same things that ordinary and normal people have. Having disabilities does not mean that they have to be treated condescendingly or patronized. In most cases, handicapped individuals have lived almost their entire lives with disabilities. Most of them may have a hard time with tasks that are easy to do for normal people. People with disabilities often find it difficult to comprehend things or to deal with their emotions. In addition, some find it hard to remember information that they hear.

Aside from these, they may also have a hard time thinking, doing productive activities, and getting along with people. Furthermore, these people learn at a slower pace, and they interact with those around them in a way different from the others. Also, some people with disabilities act unfriendly or easily get distracted. For some, concentrating is hard to do and overacts in most cases (Koster, n. d. ). Considering the behavioral traits of persons with disabilities, interviewers must be guided when conducting an interview with them.

In line with this, there are certain considerations that interviewers must attend to. One of these is understanding how the person should interact with the interviewees. He or she should be open-minded and curious, at the same time treating the interviewees with utmost dignity and respect. In addition, the interviewer must understand that these people with disabilities depend on their abilities and skills. When they ask for help, the interviewer must listen and ask for instructions, showing that he or she is considerate but not patronizing (Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, n. d. ).

As people’s disability is not the same for everyone, the interviewer must show proper attitude in dealing with them. For those who have visual disabilities, it is important that the interviewer must identify him or herself and the others present during the interview. For some interviewees that may prefer to use a wheelchair or transfer to another chair, it is important to keep the wheelchair within reach. The interviewer must not lean or touch the wheelchair without permission because this is considered as a rude thing to do since the wheelchair is considered a part of the person’s personal space.

Keeping eye contact and speaking directly to the person are also important. When the interviewee is deaf or suffers from poor hearing, the interviewer must face him directly. For those who have difficulty speaking clearly, the interviewer must listen attentively. And most of all, one should focus on the individual and his or her personality and not on the disability (National Center on Disability & Journalism, n. d. ). References Koster, M. (n. d. ). Learning about invisible disabilities. Citrus County Schools.

Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://www. citrus. k12. fl. us/ese/PDF%20files/InvisibleDisabilities. pdf National Center on Disability & Journalism. (n. d. ). Tips for interviewing people with disabilities. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://www. ncdj. org/interviewing. pdf Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities. (n. d. ). Interviewing and reporting about people with disabilities. Retrieved March 25, 2009, from http://www. txddc. state. tx. us/resources/publications/news_media/reportershandout. pdf


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