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Palomar College Learning For Success

Disability Resource Center

Counseling Services Division

Communication with Students

Etiquette Tips

  • Use person first language such as “he has Autism” no “He’s Autistic”.
  • Don’t assume if you can’t see a disability it doesn’t exist. Not all disabilities are visible.
  • Ask before assisting someone and wait for their instructions.
  • When talking to a person with a sign language interpreter or other support provider, address the person directly.
  • Be patient with those who take extra time to communicate. Do not speak for them or assume they have an intellectual disability.
  • The person themselves is the best judge of what they can and cannot do. Involve people with disabilities in their academic/life decisions.

Disability Microaggressions

  • You are so inspiring.
  • You, have a disability?
  • You look so normal.
  • You’re young, you’ll heal.
  • ADHD isn’t real. You just need to work harder.
  • You don’t need Proctoring, take your test in class.
  • We all have some kind of disability.
  • Extended time isn’t fair to the other students.
  • If you try harder you will overcome your problems.
  • He has a mental illness? Is he dangerous?
  • What happened to you?
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Let me do that for you.
  • I have one of your students.
  • Talking around but not to the student.

For more information contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 760.744.1150, ext. 2375 or drc@palomar.edu.