Good Practice in Communicating with Disabled People

The following information is a guide to issues which affect different groups of people with impairments in terms of communication. It is important to remember each individual has their own needs and strategies – ask them what their particular needs or issues are where possible.

Who have visual impairments

Face-to-face Communication:

Who have physical impairments

Ascertain the degree of personal independence of the individual in advance, for example, will they:

Some individuals with physical impairments may have communication aids, or use speech that may be difficult to follow, or attend the meeting in a wheelchair and/or come with a personal assistant. Be prepared for these eventualities.


Who have communication related impairments

What implications are there for face to face communication?

Having a speech impairment can be very tiring especially when in a new environment. Also consider that some speech impairments are affected by a person's emotional state. Patience and respect for what they have to say is very important. When talking with someone with a speech impairment:

There may be other communication barriers to consider:


Who have a history of mental ill health

"Mental ill health" is an all encompassing term used to cover people who experience a range of conditions that are grouped together. These conditions may include: mood related disorders (depression), anxiety-related disorders (phobias, panic, post-traumatic stress, compulsive behaviour), psychosis (schizophrenia), eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia nervosa) and personality disorders.

For some people with a history of mental ill health the following issues may need additional thought when organising a meeting:


Who have dyslexia

People with dyslexia are not a homogenous group. They are all individuals and the impact of their dyslexia will vary according to their degree of difficulty, the timing of their diagnosis, their particular strengths, and their coping strategies.

When planning and undertaking a meeting it is vital to:


Communication with a deaf person

with a sign language interpreter
who is a lip reader

The individual may require technical support in the form of a radio hearing aid or a portable loop system in the room, to facilitate the use of the hearing aid.

Lip reading requires a high level of concentration and can be extremely exhausting, as much as three-quarters of lip reading is intelligent guesswork and intuition, relying to some extent on contextual clues.


Revision #1
Created 26 August 2020 12:44:06 by raenyah
Updated 6 March 2024 17:50:15 by raenyah