At Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUH) we have actively set up processes, procedures and initiatives to enable people to benefit from the same opportunities as everyone else. We also hope that people will be agents of change and suggest initiatives that will enable them to benefit fully from working for the hospital or when they use the services as a patient, visitor or carer.
The use of inclusive language helps to avoid assumptions and misunderstandings and promote respectful relationships.
- Do not focus on the disability, but do not be afraid to refer to it if necessary.
- Empathise with the person rather than sympathise; people with disability want to be accepted not pitied.
- Disabled people are diverse. Many work in a range of professions, pay taxes, have families and relationships and have a range of interests.
- Avoid assuming that disability is experienced as an illness. Many disabilities are stable and do not automatically involve problems with general health.
- Don’t be afraid to ask if the person has any individual requirements or to offer assistance if warranted but don’t be offended if the person says they don’t need support.
- Don’t assume that everyone with a disability is an expert on a range of disability issues or accessibility.
- Understand that it is not the disability that can be disabling but a lack of accessibility i.e. buildings that only have steps.