How to Encourage Someone with a Disability

The Internet is filled with articles and lists about what you should never say to a person with a disability. These are social etiquette rules made up by someone who most likely is not disabled and are using their personal opinions instead of facts. Many of these “rules” end up making a person with a disability feel even more of an outsider. The truth is:  If you want to make someone with a disability feel good about themselves, start by saying hello.  


Many people with a disability feel shunned from everyday conversation and society as a whole because people are so afraid to be offensive that they disregard the person altogether. This leaves the person with the disability feeling awful and ashamed of their condition and wishing they were hidden away at home. Anyone and everyone can help this situation simply by saying “hi.”  


Tell Me About Yourself Is A Magical Phrase  


A person with a disability does not want to spend their day talking about their disability and the things they cannot enjoy. Actually, no one wants to do that. The best way to break the ice with anyone is to ask them to tell you about themselves. This works in any social situation and with any person, disabled or not. People like to feel as if others are interested.  


People with disabilities have jobs, hobbies, families, and passions. They are artists, parents, doctors and entertainers. They are sports fanatics, movie enthusiasts and even wine connoisseurs. They are simply people.  


While it is a little rude to ask “what caused your disability,” even if you are interested, a person may tell you the story behind their disability.  If they believe that you are truly interested in them as a human being without being prompted, most disabled people will share how they became disabled 


If you really want to make sure that you treat a person with a disability in a way that makes them feel good and equal, just treat them like you would your friend. Don’t be overly encouraging and start spouting off that they are an inspiration.  That places their disability in the spotlight. Don’t talk down to them as if they cannot understand you. Simply act as you would with a friend.  


Chances are, if you treat someone like a friend, they will in turn become one. 



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Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).