Always ask the person how you can best assist them.
Ask for/Look for:
- An identification bracelet with special health information.
- Emergency contact information to reach the person’s family.
- Essential equipment and supplies (for example: wheelchair, walker, oxygen, batteries, communication devices [head pointers, alphabet boards, speech synthesizers, etc.])
- Mobility aids (for example, wheelchair, cane, walker or service animal).
- Special health instructions (for example: allergies).
- Special communication information (for example:, is the person using sign language?)
- Signs of stress and/or confusion (for example, the person might say [s]he is stressed, look confused, withdraw, start rubbing their hands together).
- Conditions that people might misinterpret (for example, someone might mistake Cerebral Palsy for drunkenness).
- Try to include the person in conversations with other people; don’t talk about a person in front of that person.
- If the person does not use words to speak, look for gestures or other behaviors that communicate what the person is trying to express.
- Don’t assume that people do not understand just because they don’t use words to communicate.