UC Merced Cultural Center Guidelines
Section F: Guidelines for Supporting Differently Able-Bodied Students
We want this to be a space in which historically and continually marginalized student of color, which include their intersectional identities as womxn, income-insecure, LGBTQ+, non-binary, gender non-conforming, differently abled-bodied, international, immigrant, non-traditional students, etc. can feel safe expressing themselves, their lived experiences, knowledges, without being the target of oppression. We commit to remaining conscious of our own positionality in this space.
- Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Think of the person first, not the ability
- Always ask before providing assistance. Differently able-bodied students don’t necessarily need or want your help. Never help someone without first asking them. Practice consent.
- Think before you speak. Always use people-first language. Avoid using labels.
- Ask individuals how they prefer to communicate. When interaction with someone who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing, remember that some individuals may be able to hear, some may be able to lip read, while others prefer to use sign language or assistive technology.
- When interacting with someone who uses wheelchair, do not push, lean on, or hold the person’s wheelchair.
- When interacting with someone who is blind or visually impaired, always introduce yourself and let them know when you are leaving. You may offer your arm or elbow as a guide if they request assistance but never push, pull or grab the individual. Do not pet, feed or distract a guide dog. The dog is responsible for its owner’s safety and is always working.
- When interacting with someone with a cognitive disability, speak to the person clearly. Be patient and give time to communicate.
- When interacting with someone with a speech impairment, allow them as much time as they need to communicate. Be respectful and avoid trying to finish their sentences.