How to Keep From Treating People With Disabilities Differently

Workshop Goals

To understand the history of American attitudes and legislation regarding people with disabilities;

To learn how to properly assist individuals with disabilities in a courteous and respectful manner;

To practice providing assistance to people with disabilities, both fellow employees and museum guests.

In order to gain the most out of the presentation, please:

  • Listen with an open mind;
  • Be respectful of each other;
  • Challenge your thinking;
  • Be willing to learn something new that you can use on the job!

Challenge Activity

Bean Bags

  • Place a bean bag on your head
  • Move to the music!
  • If your bean bag falls off your head, freeze until another player, without losing his/her beanbag, retrieves the fallen one and replaces it on the frozen person’s head.
  • If the rescuer loses his/her beanbag, then he/she is also frozen until another person appears to rescue them both.

What is the object of the game?

How do you “win”?

What is the advantage of picking up a classmate’s beanbag?

What is the Definition of a Disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in several key areas including: state and local government services, places of public accommodation, employment, telecommunications and transportation.

The individual with a disability is a person who (3 part definition):

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  • Has a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have the impairment; or
  • Being regarded as having such an impairment.

What is considered a disability?

The ADA does not list conditions that are considered disabilities; however it does list those which are not included.

Not covered by the ADA are homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, transsexualism, compulsive gambling, kleptomania, pyromania, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, other sexual behavior disorders.

The ADA does not cover individuals who are currently engaging in illegal drug use.

A short-term condition is generally is not a disability. The test is whether the impairment markedly limits major life activities when assessing the duration, scope, and impact of the impairment.

Small Group Activity

Divide into small to discuss your experiences and examples of instances you have assisted co-workers or museum guests with the following disabilities:

  • Physical
  • Sensory
  • Intellectual or Developmental
  • Emotional
  • Invisible

Remember that each person’s situation is unique!

Physical disabilities: a limitation on a person’s physical functioning, mobility, dexterity or stamina; a short list of examples:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Amputation
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spina bifida
  • Musculoskeletal injuries (eg back injury)
  • Arthritis
  • Muscular dystrophy

Sensory impairment: a limitation of one or more of a person’s senses; including:

  • Hearing Loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Limited vision/Blindness
  • Loss of Smell
  • Spatial awareness

A person could be born with the impairment or could it could develop throughout the lifetime.

Intellectual disabilities – significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers social and practical skills. Originates before age 18 years. Affects approximately 3% of the population.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

Emotional

  • Mental illness has nothing to do with intelligence.
  • Mental illness is a condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, and ability to relate to others.
  • Results in a diminished capacity for dealing with everyday life
  • Can include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and personality disorder.

The Invisibility of Disabilities

Be sensitive that disabilities come in a variety of types, and each person is an individual

The impact of a person’s disability may not be easily seen.

Person may be perceived as lazy, when in fact, the disability impacts his/her ability to learn, work, and function.

Teachers and peers may see only behavior problems or uncooperative behaviors, rather than accommodating the disability.

A Brief History of Legislation

1964 – Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act

1973 – Rehabilitation Act, Section 504

1990 – Americans with Disabilities Act – First comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities.

History, continued

2008 – ADA Amendments Act

Expanded definition of the term disability to include individuals with amputations, intellectual disabilities, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy, and cancer;

Strikes a balance between employee and employer interests;

Overturned two key Supreme Court decisions (Sutton vs. United Airlines, Inc. and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. vs. Williams), where lower courts had found individual’s situation did not constitute a disability, therefore the question of discrimination had never been addressed.

American Attitudes – FDR

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945.

Had suffered paralysis as a result of Polio.

Although the his use of a wheelchair was common knowledge, the wheelchair was not shown by the media.

Gather Your Thoughts

How do you feel about the cloaked FDR statue?

What do you think is more important: to respect President Roosevelt’s wishes OR to reflect modern views of people with disabilities?

How could this spectrum of opinion be reflected in the workplace?

As a manager, how do you work to bring understanding and acceptance among your staff, while following current ADAAA guidelines?

Let’s examine recent examples of people with disabilities who have achieved celebrity status!

Stevie Wonder

Born prematurely in 1950 in Michigan. Suffered retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), due to too much oxygen in the hospital’s incubator.

Began playing instruments at an early age and signed with Motown Records at age 11. Has had an amazing writing and recording career.

Celebrity spotlights can aid in bringing important issues into the spotlight.

Jim Abbott

Born in 1967, in Flint, Michigan, without a right hand

Baseball star for University of Michigan

Played in the 1988 Summer Olympics

Played Major League Baseball, and pitched a no-hitter in 1993 as a NY Yankee.

Amy Purdee

Born in 1979 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Contracted meningitis at age 19, resulting in double amputation below the knees and kidney transplant

Paralympic Athlete in Snowboarding – Bronze Medalist

Terminology Over Time

Crippled – an invalid and derogatory term that is no longer acceptable to describe people with disabilities;

Retarded – a medical term that can be used as a slur; no longer acceptable in everyday language:

Handicapped – something that hampers or hinders, such as in a race; no longer used in referring to people;

Normal people – avoid using this term when making a comparison, as this implies a person with a disability is not normal. Everyone is unique and has their own identity and abilities;

Person with a Disability – “people-first” language that focuses on the individual, not their condition.

Using People-First Language

American Psychological Association Style guide

  • Person’s name or pronoun first
  • Description of impairment or disability second
  • Descriptors should not modify or limit the person

Examples:

  • A boy with Down’s Syndrome, not “the Down’s Syndrome boy”;
  • Sydney has a hearing impairment, not “the deaf girl.”

Discussion: What Do You Do?

On the Job Situations You May Encounter

A guest arrives at an event with a cat in a stroller. She claims the cat is a service animal. Do you allow her entrance?

A group of 60 children is moving from the 1st floor exhibit to the 2nd floor through the only staircase in the wing. One child is on crutches. As the group’s tour guide, how do you handle the transition between floors?

What Do You Do?

Guidelines to Follow

  • If the guest claims the cat is with her as a service animal, the cat can be permitted to accompany her into the event. She does not need to produce any paperwork to justify the service animal.
  • Review the options with the student’s teacher/chaperone. If the child wishes to take the elevator, suggest a small group of students and an adult accompany her, so she does not feel alone or singled out.
  • Ask the guest if he would like to sit or hold onto in a chair inside the ride.

Employees with Disabilities: What is Reasonable Accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is assistance or changes to a position or workplace that will enable an employee to do his or her job despite having a disability.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship

Examples of Reasonable Accommodations

  1. Providing a chair for a cashier who uses crutches so he or she can sit when not assisting customers.
  2. Reserving a parking space close to the entrance for an employee who has difficulty walking because of loss of a limb.
  3. Providing instructions and information in writing for an employee with hearing loss.
  4. Permitting a staff member to bring a service animal to work.
  5. Allowing an employee with tinnitus to play background music to help block out the ringing in his ears.
  6. Allowing more frequent work breaks or providing back-up coverage when an employee with a disability needs to take a break.
  1. Providing specialized equipment for an employee who has lost a hand or finger, such as a large-key keyboard, a one-handed keyboard, a trackball, a touchpad, or speech recognition software.

  2. Flexibility in scheduling to allow an employee with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to attend counseling sessions or offering a later start time to a staff member with a spinal cord injury who has a lengthy personal care routine.
  3. Decreasing distractions, providing information in writing, breaking down complex assignments into small steps for a person with a traumatic brain injury.
  4. Making sure equipment is within reach for an employee who uses a wheelchair.
  5. Adjusting the height of an office desk for a staff member who uses a wheelchair, and ensuring the space is not obstructed by wastebaskets or other items.

Unacceptable Practices

Examples of A Record or History of Disability

Examples:

  • An employer refuses to hire a qualified candidate due to a history of mental illness, even though the person has recovered sufficiently to perform all essential functions of the job.
  • A dentist refuses to treat a patient because he was diagnosed as having HIV, even though the diagnosis was proven to be incorrect.
  • A retail outlet fires a woman who is pregnant, because they assume she will not be able to work during the busy holiday season.

Unacceptable Practices

Regarded as Having an Impairment

Examples:

  • An employee has controlled high blood pressure, which is not substantially limiting. However, his employer fears that the employee will suffer a heart attack and reassigns the employee to a less strenuous job.
  • A person with a severe burn or scar does not actually have a disability. He may be regarded as having a disability when he faces discrimination based on people’s attitudes toward him.
  • An overweight candidate for a bus driver position is not hired because the employer assumes (without conducting tests) that she will not be able to move fast enough in case of an emergency.

Courtesy

Gum chewing – Do not chew gum when speaking to people with hearing loss. It makes you more difficult to understand

Stand in front – When speaking to people with hearing loss, stand directly in front, so they can see your lips

Paper and pencil – Have a paper and pencil ready, in case communicating through written word may be more effective than spoken word

Sit down – when speaking to a person in a wheelchair, take a seat! Looking upward may hurt their neck, and it is common courtesy to be at eye level.

Ask if the person wants help before acting – Do not assume that someone needs help. Have the respect and courtesy to ask how you may help, and then follow directions

Be patient – Do not roll your eyes, cross your arms, or rush a person who needs extra time.

Use people-first language – always refer to the person first and do not use their situation as a descriptor.

End of Session Quiz

You are at the Information Desk and a guest in a wheelchair has a question. What is the most courteous way to approach the interaction?

An employee you are managing has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She begins to walk with a cane, and is able to perform her job functions as school group facilitator in the laboratory. Discuss what types of accommodations can be made for her.

A child who uses crutches wants to watch the Dive Show at the Kelp Tank. All the seats are filled and many patrons have filled the open viewing area. How do you accommodate the child, so he can see the show?

List 3 new pieces of information that you learned, which you can use on the job.

1- Information Desk

Invite the guest to the side of the counter that is wheelchair accessible.

Sit at the chair, so you are eye-level.

Answer his questions respectfully.

Ask if the guest needs any assistance.

Ask if he is familiar with the location of the elevator.

2- Employee Accommodations

Review the employee’s job duties and discuss if any accommodations need to be made at this time, such as reassignment, additional time for tasks, use of a chair while working.

Make a plan to review her situation as needed, to see if any accommodations or a reassignment needs to be made.

For example, an employee who lead the student experiments in the laboratory could be reassigned to the Information Desk to answer the telephone with a headset.

3- Viewing the Show

  • Given that the situation involves a child, consult with the student’s parents or chaperone.
  • Ask if the child would like to sit by the tank or in the bleachers.
  • Show the family where the seating area for people with disabilities is located.
  • If someone is sitting in that area, respectfully work with the guest to find a spot for the child. Posted signs indicate that the are is reserved for people with special needs.
  • If there is no wiggle room, ask if the child would like a chair to sit, or ask a guest if they would mind moving over to accommodate the child.
  • Remember that you are responsible for the guests during the dive show. Feel empowered to make the situation pleasant for the guests, in a courteous manner. Call your supervisor if you need additional assistance.

The 4 Stages of Addiction

According to the dictionary addiction means:-

1. Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit forming (especially alcohol and narcotic drugs).

2. An abnormally strong craving.

3. (Roman Law) a formal award by a court sentence of a thing or person to another (as of a debtor to his creditor), a surrender to a master; “under Roman law, addiction was the justification for slavery”.

The Chinese have a saying about heroin ‘You begin chasing the dragon but then it jumps on your back and begins chasing you’. Jackie Pullinger, the British woman who set up a ministry in Hong Kong t, wrote a book about her experiences there in ‘Chasing the Dragon’.

This expression relates to smoking heroin, but it could be applied for all mood altering drugs, alcohol, painkillers, tranquillisers, speed, solvents, LSD, cocaine, heroin, crack, ecstasy, barbiturates, and cannabis. It can apply to adrenalin based addictions like gambling, sex, shopping, people (co-dependency) and eating disorders.

Addiction doesn’t just happen. There is a progression towards chemical dependency, or any other addiction. It passes through four main stages.

1. Experimental Stage of Addiction

The Experimental Stage could happen out of curiosity or peer pressure. The user may say “I’ll just try it I don’t have to use it again” The user may experience pleasure or mood swings. The outcome may be intoxication or being stoned, or a ‘rush’ of some sort. Many who experiment with drugs do not progress to the next stage of addiction.

This may start in early teens (sometimes younger) with trying alcohol, cigarettes or cannabis. It is easy to get high because of the body’s low tolerance. Often done with their peers away from a parent or guardian. It may be seen as acting grown up, or a simple act of rebellion.

2. The Recreational Stage of Addiction

During the recreational stage the user may use at the weekends with friends, just to unwind from a stressful week. Looking for relief. Tolerance increases and more substances may be used, amphetamines (speed), larger quantities of alcohol. Symptoms may include stopping out late, suffering hangovers.

The user is by now starting to plan for use. Waiting for the weekend to be with friends, but also risk taking may increase by smoking on the way to school. Starting to lie about how much, and what is being used. Parents may react at this stage by grounding their child.

3. The Early Dependency Stage

During this stage, the regular user becomes an abuser. Now maintaining an addictive lifestyle that starts to affect others. The young user may be missing school and stealing money to feed the habit. Older users may be struggling to keep their job and running up debts. There is a daily preoccupation to source drugs and this often leads to meeting dealers.

4. The Full Dependency Stage

During this stage of addiction, there is a self destructive and compulsive desire to escape to oblivion, or escape from reality. Sobriety is too difficult to face. If left untreated, the addict may now face despair and risks premature death through overdose, suicide, accidents or side effects. Many end up with legal problems, imprisonment and family breakdown.

Addiction causes two main problems, a chemical (or an adrenalin) dependency problem, and a lifestyle problem. These are explored within the framework of other articles. Has addiction faced you or your family?

Are Your Financial Problems Emotion Based?

Emotions rule human beings. Mr. Spock would call us all illogical for giving in to excitement, depression, and anger. He would be right in many cases, especially in the financial arena. Many people respond to their emotional state in some financial way. How many people do you know that own budgeting apps or have seen a financial planner, but still can not seem to get on top of their financial lives? It is very possible that their emotions have become their worst financial enemy.

Money problems can range from minor to major. Whatever their severity, these hang-ups cannot be reversed by studying up on finance or investment strategies. Many financial planners are beginning to team up with counselors, psychologists, or life coaches. This ”holistic” approach came about after many planners found themselves spending at least a quarter of their time talking to clients about issues like spirituality, death, family dysfunction, illness, divorce and depression.

Everyone is is ruled by money beliefs that are formed during their childhood. It is in some ways like following a script that we are unaware of. These ”money scripts” dominate our financial lives just as a movie script controls an actor’s actions. Some of these scripts are accurate and fact based, some are pure fantasy according to Brad Klontz, a clinical psychologist, certified financial planner, and a key player in the field of financial therapy. Many of those scripts are hybrids of truth or become twisted over the years. One example would be ”You should work hard for your money” can become ”Money not earned is not worth having.” The twisted version can have disastrous results when you avoid investing because you do not feel you deserve the ”unearned” capital gains. ”Everyone has money scripts worth examining,” says Klontz, ”but not everyone has a gambling or compulsive-buying disorder.” Klontz also points out that money scripts fall into four general categories.

Money avoidance is based on scripts like ”money corrupts.” It can manifest itself in extreme overspending or excessive risk avoidance. At its worst, it can force you to become a financial enabler for others.

Money worship is based on a script that reads along the lines of ”you can never have enough money.” This way of thinking usually creates workaholics, massive credit card debt, compulsive spending, hoarding, or extreme risk-taking.

A money status script simply equates money with self-worth and contentment. This can lead to spending beyond your means to appear more affluent or hiding financial information from your spouse or partner. In the extreme, this script can lead you to the highest risk investments or a compulsive gambling habit.

Some think that the most insidious money script is money vigilance. The reason is that at a normal level, money vigilance is expounded by everyone. Save money, invest wisely, etc. The problem is when the script becomes too rigid. So rigid, in fact, that you ca not enjoy the fruits of your labor. For example, this script is a problem for someone who has saved their whole life, hits $2 million in the bank, and will not retire or even take a vacation.

Solving these money issues is not a simple thing, even with professional help. There are several steps along the way. The first is as simple as recognizing a problematic financial belief or behavior. One way to become more aware of emotional spending is to keep a journal. Write down each purchase followed by the thoughts surrounding that purchase. The same applies when you are considering the purchase of a car, home, or making an investment. Over time, your money scripts will make themselves apparent, if you put down your feelings honestly. Once you’re aware of the patterns, you can work on changing them. The writing process could also serve as a barrier between the emotion and the purchase. Like when you have a bad day or feel depressed, writing the feelings down before you buy could actually prevent the purchase and offer a safer release for your feelings.

Once you have recognized the scripts within your financial behavior you can begin to edit and remove them. This process can be more harrowing than you expect. You may need assistance. Look for a financial planner who also has counseling credentials or simply look for a therapeutic setting that will help you address any childhood traumas that helped form your scripts. The eventual outcome is to form a new money script – one that helps you make decisions that allow you to enjoy your life.

The Addictive Personality, Part One

How do you envision someone with an addictive personality? Do you picture an alcoholic, someone strung out on drugs, a chain smoker, or a gambler down on his luck?

Addictive behaviors are commonly thought of as behaviors that impair a person’s ability to function. Often they do but not all addictive behaviors have that effect. Some addictive behaviors do not negatively influence or impact the person’s life.

Many people are unaware that they even have the tendency because their behavior doesn’t fit the image they have in their mind of those who do. Someone with an addictive personality can turn a positive activity, such as exercising, into an obsession. As one mental health expert put it, healthy people plan exercise around their life. Addicts plan their life around exercise.

Those with addictive personalities have urges other people don’t have that can impede their ability to make good decisions. They have the tendency to do things that are fine in moderation, things that those without addictive personalities do with no problem, and become addicted to them. They are prone to becoming dependent on substances, activities, and other people-just about anything. And they are especially at high at risk of becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, pornography, exercise, work, and codependency.

It is theorized that 15% of American people have a predisposition to addiction. Doctors and clinicians still debate whether or not the addictive personality exists. The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls it a brain disease. Though addictive personality has not been classified as a personality disorder by the American Psychological Association, there are common traits that those with the tendency have-certain characteristics that make them more susceptible to physical or psychological dependencies that may negatively impact their quality of life. Not everyone demonstrating these characteristic will develop an addiction.

A common characteristic of the addictive personality is poor stress management skills. Without the benefit of healthy coping skills they are prone to using substances, activities, or other people as a way to manage their emotional discomfort and alleviate stress. They have the tendency to self-medicate, believing they are only using it symptomatically, but in fact are using it as a way to cope with life. Some have social anxiety or have trouble letting their guard down. Substances help them let go and have fun.

Many with addictive personalities suffer from insecurity or are excessive approval seekers. They may use substances such as drugs and alcohol to provide a temporary sense of worth, a pseudo-identity. Though they are aware that the sense of worth achieved that way is false, they like the way it feels and crave it more and more. They may turn to addictive substances in order to deal with insecurity, or they may ultimately feel powerless to stop an addiction once it starts.

Another marker of the addictive personality is the lack of ability to get in touch with feelings. The feelings are there but they may be too painful to look at. Feeling makes them feel vulnerable and out of control. This causes someone to focus outward, searching for anything that makes them feel good inside and comforts them.

Those with addictive personalities often have the need for instant gratification. They crave the quick, powerful feeling that makes them feel good in ways nothing else can. The euphoric feeling is short-lived so they are constantly seeking more. This sometimes occurs with those who have obsessive or compulsive personalities, and those who are perfectionists.

The inability to form emotional attachments with other people is another characteristic of those with addictive personalities. Many of these people are unable to make relationship commitments. Some alienate themselves from others believing that trusting relationships are unattainable. Some have brief, superficial relationships filled with emotional turmoil, and often with those who also have addictive personalities or are abusive. Substances such as drugs or alcohol become substitutes for the bond they lack with others.

http://randigfine.com/addictive-personalitiesparttwo/