TRC Chaperone Training
Meeting the client
Visible and Hidden Disabilities
Well-being of your client
Online Certification Quiz
Recognizing visible and hidden disabilities
This goes both ways. What do you do if you can’t understand the person you’re accompanying? They may have profound hearing loss that prevented them from completely learning the spoken language; have a speech impediment; or may have a cognitive disability. In any case, you’ve found it difficult to understand their speech. What if the person can’t understand you due to similar conditions? In the first case, don’t pretend! If you can’t understand, don’t act as if you do. Your response may be inappropriate or offensive. Ask them to repeat – perhaps more slowly. If the person is having difficulty understanding you, slow your own speech and enunciate more clearly.
If things just aren’t working out in either direction, frustration may ensue. Best to apologize and politely withdraw.
Physical challenges – Maladies and assumptions about ability
If there is a theme that runs through accompanying persons with disabilities – especially those of a physical nature – it’s that independence is the goal. Assumptions we may make of weakness or inability should be set aside in favor of providing an atmosphere where the person can accomplish as much of that independence as is possible. Never assume inability. Always stand ready to assist. Always ask if assistance is needed. Always ask how that assistance should be administered.