Communication with Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Psychiatric Disabilities: A Summary of the Literature
by Walton O. Schalick III
We summarize a list of best-practices from the literature when attempting to communicate with and understand individuals with intellectual or psychiatric disabilities, and when fashioning in-the-field policies for these individuals:
- Respect for the autonomy of the individuals being served.
- Sensitivity to the stigmatizing power of labeled disabilities.
- Active involvement of clients in the design of programs.
- Individualization of communication strategies to meet the specific needs of the particular client.
- Multidisciplinary collaboration, cooperation and communication.
- Family and/or community collaboration, within the boundaries of confidentiality requirements.
- Ongoing exploration of both new and traditional communication media.