Asking questions is an important skill. To ensure your service is accessible and inclusive, you might need to know certain things about participants but you also need to be cautious of asking rude or invasive questions.
When you’re asking questions of young people with disability, think about the things below. You already think about these things when talking with anyone else, but these considerations are much more important when engaging with young people with disability:
- the context
- your relationship with the person
- how important the question is
- how their answer will change things
- how the person’s day was
- how you preface the question
- how you give the person power in their response
- how much you really need to know
- if you offer an out to them answering
Young people with disability have told us:
- You don’t necessarily have to have the solution
- Be open to learning and listening
- Follow through with what you said you would do
- There’s not a solution to every problem
- Trust us
- We have bad days just like you
- Every person with a disability has a different idea of what they’re comfortable talking about and doing
- People with disability are the experts on their own disability and their own access needs
- Don’t assume anything
- Acceptance is a journey and everyone’s on their own journey
- We just want to be treated like everyone else
Appropriate Questions activity
You’ve read a bit about appropriate questions, now have a look at some example questions below and think about how they relate to the considerations above:
- We know you’re not able to participate in this activity, so we’ve made something else for you to do. Is that okay?
- How do you want me to send you more information?
- Are you going to be able to manage that?
- This is what we’re doing, are you comfortable with that?
- What can I do to support you?
- Are you sure you want to try this activity?
- Let me know if you need anything.