As explained in the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) framework, people with disability may experience additional environmental barriers which make it difficult for them to participate in activities. Learn to identify barriers and consider how to modify them to support people with disability to truly participate when we work with them.
Children with disability may have difficulty mobilising or may require equipment, for example a wheelchair, to assist with their mobility. Consider the following when working with a child with a physical disability:
- If you meet away from the child’s home, is there disability parking nearby for the child’s carer or parent? If you are above the ground floor, are their ramps or elevators to allow them to get to the meeting room?
- Are you meeting the child in an area that is free of clutter with enough room to move around, for example wide doorways and halls?
- Are there accessible toilets available?
People with vision and hearing difficulties or sensory processing needs may benefit from changes to the environment.
- For a child with a hearing impairment, meet in a quiet location and ensure that only one person talks at a time.
- For a child with a visual impairment, meet in a location with lighting to meet their needs, for example they may require low levels of light and to have a particular light source such as a window behind them.
Resources for engagement
Plan International (2016) has developed resources containing guidelines for consulting with children with disabilities including hearing impairments, physical impairments, visual impairments, intellectual impairments and communication impairments.
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