How Do I Politely Ask a Disabled Person If They Need Help?
The answer is fairly straight forward:
- Ask politely. Example:
Is there anything I can do to help?
noas an answer the first time. Don’t try and follow up with
are you sure?. That’s annoying.
- If the answer is
no, don’t try to make awkward conversation about the perceived difficulty of whatever it is they’re doing. If you’re on a steep hill and walking next to them, don’t comment on how steep the hill is or how strong they must be for getting up it by themselves. Conversation like this is really awkward and can feel insulting.
If the lack of accessibility is truly something you want to see fixed, donate to advocacy groups for the disabled (e.g., ADAPT) and vote for people and policies that help out disabled folk.