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Things you should and should not do when you support us!

TOP TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD DO WHEN YOU SUPPORT US

*Forget the records. Get to know us as people!

*Listen and hear our voice. We have alot to say.

*Treat as as you want to be treated---with respect and dignity.

*Ask us how we feel about stuff.

*Make it your goal to help us accomplish ours.

*Take time to explain things we do not understand.

*Put yourself in our shoes. Walk our walk.

*Tell us the truth..we can handle it.

*Believe in us and our dreams.

*Be good to yourself--we need you to be healthy and energized.

TOP TEN THINGS YOU SHOULDN'T DO WHEN SUPPORTING US

*Don't think we don't think.

*Don't change your tone of voice when you see us or when we come into a room.

*Don't touch our property or move our equipment without asking us.

*Never ask someone else what we want ("Does she take cream in her coffee?") ASK US!

*Don't make decisions for us.

*Don't have meetings about us without us.

*Don't talk to us in an authoritative way or with a "sing-song" tone of voice.

*Don't discount our abilities.

*Don't think that those of us with disabilities are all the same. We are all different, just like you.

*Don't patronize us.

HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH SOMEONE WITH SPEECH DIFFICULTY

**Do not shout. We are usually not hearing impaired.

**Do not pretend to understand us if you do not. We will not be offended if you ask us to repeat ourselves.

**Do not assume that because we have a speach impairment, we also have a cognitive impairment. Some of us are college educated!!

**Do not ask our companions to speak for us. If we want them to interpret for us we will ask ourselves.

**DO be patient. It is OK to ask us to repeat ourselves.

**DO feel free to repeat back what we have said to you. That tells us you have understood us.

**If a person has an assisted speach device, ask them to use it if you really cannot understand. That is why we have the device!