Michael Whapples from Leicestershire is blind and shoots air rifle. In 2011 he was the first British shooter ever to compete at the Open European Shooting Championships for the Vision Impaired, held at Nitra, Slovakia.Read More
Stewart Nangle, a Lancastrian, is pictured shooting .22 pistol. What the photograph does not show is that at the time one of his legs was fitted with a metal frame that was bolted into the bones.
Vic Morris lives in south Wales and is paralysed from the neck down as the result of an accident. With the aid of an 'equaliser' device invented by his coach, John Kelman, Vic shoots pistol and rifle.
For those who are not used to working and socialising with people who have various types of disabilities, we offer a round-up of some on-line advice and videos that may help to put everyone at their ease.
If anyone is aware of any similar items that we could add in here, please let the DSP Co-ordinator know.
This video, made to help Hampshire County Council staff, flags up social problems often experienced by people who have difficulty with speech due to cerebral palsy, stroke, Down’s syndrome, autistic spectrum disorders, etc. It then advises on how to put such people at ease and communicate effectively with them.
The film’s producers say: "The film is sometimes challenging to watch as there are no subtitles, but people do not speak in subtitles - patience and listening carefully with respect will provide the answers. The film will be used as a training aid by Hampshire County Council, but with the agreement of the group who made the film it is freely available to all organisations and individuals, particularly those who come into everyday contact with people who sometimes struggle to be heard and get their point across."
Information and videos from the RNIB on helping people who are blind or partially sighted.
Open University advice
Aimed at people working with disabled students, there is a very comprehensive website section on all sorts of disabilities, with lots of helpful video clips. The most useful menu sections are “Understanding and awareness”, and “Communicating with disabled students”.
Speak directly to a disabled person, rather than through a companion, guide or interpreter who may be present.
Offer to shake hands when introduced. People with limited hand use or an artificial limb can usually shake hands and offering the left hand is an acceptable greeting. When meeting a blind person ask if you can shake hands with them.
Be relaxed with the person and maintain good eye contact even if you see their eyes jerking away or they have uncontrollable movements.
Remember that for those with a visual disability, names take the place of faces in recognising people and knowing who is speaking. Always identify yourself and others who may be with you when meeting someone with a visual disability. When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking. When dining with a friend who has a visual disability, ask if you can describe what is on his or her plate.
When talking to a wheelchair user, ensure you are comfortably within their field of view, and if your height may seem dominating, stand back from them.
If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen or ask for instructions.
Treat adults as adults. Address people with disabilities by their first names only when extending that same familiarity to all others. Never patronize people in wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.
Respect disabled people’s personal space. Do not lean against or hang on someone’s wheelchair; people with disabilities treat their chairs as extensions of their bodies. The same principle applies to guide dogs and other assistance dogs; never distract a work animal from its job without the owner’s permission. Ask permission before moving anything that belongs to a disabled person, especially key aids like crutches or a white stick.
Listen attentively when talking with people who have difficulty speaking and wait for them to finish. It is often helpful to ask short questions that require short answers, or a nod of the head. Never pretend to understand; instead repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond.
Whenever possible, sit down when speaking with a dwarf, or someone in a wheelchair, so that you are at their eye level, which is much more comfortable for both of you.
Touch a person who has a hearing disability on the shoulder or wave your hand to get his or her attention. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly, and expressively to establish if the person can read your lips. If so, try to face the light source and keep hands, cigarettes and food away from your mouth when speaking. If a person is wearing a hearing aid, don’t assume that they have the ability to discriminate your speaking voice. Never shout; just use a normal tone of voice, and don’t speak in an exaggerated manner, which is embarrassing – just speak more carefully. When in a group, avoid speaking at the same time as someone else.
Relax. Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use common expressions such as “See you later” or “Did you hear about this?” that seems to relate to a person’s disability.