The Rocky Mountain ADA Center (RMADA) is pleased to offer businesses, public entities, and individuals a new way to receive information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and related topics with two new, free interactive disability etiquette courses.
Today’s launch features a two-part online training courses focused on disability awareness and etiquette designed to help everyone understand the magnitude of the disability community, provide better understanding of proper language to use when addressing people with disabilities, and address etiquette considerations.
To take the free courses, simply click this link.
“With over 59 million Americans having either an invisible or visible disability, we felt it is time to have a one-stop hub where everyone can learn how to better leverage compassionate and accurate language when addressing a neighbor with a disability,” said Rachael Stafford, Director of The Rocky Mountain ADA Center. “This project was no small effort on my team’s part, as we approached this initiative with a keen eye for detail and are proud to say, since the project’s inception in July of 2015, we are ready to share this with the nation and look forward to thousands of people accessing the tools in the days and weeks ahead.”
The first course targets understanding of the ADA’s definition of and how to engage a person with a disability. This is a course that everyone who works with the public should take. Businesses which use proper etiquette have the potential to increase revenue simply by understanding how to interact with people with disabilities within their storefront and online.
“Written documents and overviews can be helpful but true learning takes place when a person has the opportunity to engage in training and visualize how the information is applied in a real world setting. This is what we offer with these two free courses. In addition, we want training to fit the lifestyle of busy adults. Most of us do not have the time to sit though hours of lectures, webinars, or seminars. Our online training allows the learner to absorb the information at their own pace. Whether a person has two hours or 10 minutes to spare they can learn in a meaningful way,” said Chris Phelps, RMADA Project Consultant and etiquette course project-lead.
The second course is a continuation of the first but looks at best practices for interacting with specific disability types. Both courses will assist anyone that has a public facing job (city, state, federal, local, and private) where good customer service is imperative. “The course will help anyone who works in the public eye use terminology that makes people feel included,” said Stafford. This course addresses items like common etiquette tips, service animal information, and disability-specific language choices such as “Deaf” versus “Hearing Impaired.”
Each course takes a little over an hour to complete, engages the user in a fun and meaningful way, and promises to raise the user’s awareness. Users will be able to log in and out at their convenience with all progress being saved and accessible next time they log in. Future courses will be offered on a variety of topics from the RMADA such as reasonable accommodations, service animals, voting accessibility, and physical accessibility.
In 2015, RMADA launched its Don’t Say the H Word Campaign designed to educate people on how the word handicap is offensive to people with disabilities, the largest minority group in the USA, and that alternative terminology such as accessible parking (instead of handicap parking) is much more favorable.
“How you address someone whether revolving around race, sexual orientation, gender, or disability means something,” added Stafford. “We live in a very compassionate country and we are trained early-on how to speak properly to people so that they feel welcomed, included, and accepted. That is why we developed these new interactive courses, along with No H word, to continue this trend.”
As this initiative is setting a new standard in online disability etiquette training, RMADA welcomes all feedback. To comment on the courses or make recommendations on how they can be improved please email Rachael Stafford: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: The Rocky Mountain ADA Center, operated by Meeting the Challenge, Inc., is funded under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DP0018-01-00) to provide technical assistance, training, and materials to Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Contact: Joshua Steinfeld