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Mobility impairments range from lower body impairments, which may require use of canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, to upper body impairments, which may result in limited or no use of the hands.
Some health conditions and medications affect memory and/or energy levels.
Individuals with hearing impairments often use some combination of lip-reading, sign language, and amplification to understand spoken information. People who are deaf from birth generally have more difficulty speaking and understanding the structure of language than those who lost their hearing later in life.
Some disabilities affect the ability to speak. Computer-based speech output systems provide an alternative voice for some people who cannot speak.
Because a person does not use a wheelchair, have hearing aids, or use a cane does not mean that she does not have a disability. Some disabilities are invisible. These include specific learning disabilities. Individuals with specific learning disabilities generally have average to above average intelligence, but may have difficulties demonstrating knowledge and understanding abstract concepts.
People who have psychiatric disabilities are not always considered mentally ill.
- Be positive and expect the person to do well. Friendliness is always the correct road to take.
- Be consistent. The person should know what to expect. Carry through with expected actions.
- Make instructions clear. You may want to write instructions down as well as explain them verbally.
- Reward and compliment good performance on the job. Criticism should be done privately. Provide positive suggestions for improving performance.
- Meet with the person privately on a regular basis to determine if there are problems that can be "headed off" before they get out of hand. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I'm always happy to answer your questions.
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