In 2014, the District of Columbia's Office of Disability Rights sponsored the production of a disability sensitivity training video. A transcript of the video is available below.
Male wheelchair user: Good morning, Bob.
Male colleague: Good morning, there… big man.
Colleague yells: Morning, Alice!
Music: There’s no need to be awkward!
Narrator: Poor Bob… Like so many of us, he just doesn’t know how to interact with people with disabilities.
Male wheelchair user: It’s pretty easy, really. People with disabilities are people first.
Alice: We need the same things that every person needs, like respect.
Male wheelchair user: Good morning, everyone.
Large group yelling, “Attention!”
Male with a non-apparent disability: Uh… OK maybe we need to be more specific.
Male wheelchair user: The easiest way to show respect is to focus on the person…not the disability. It’s OK, you’ll get the hang of it.
Deaf male signing: One easy way to focus on the person is to watch the person signing… and not their interpreter.
Male wheelchair user: Or their companion
Female with a mobility disability: It’s really cool that you’d like to help. But do us both a favor and please ask me first. What you think might be helping… (Another woman grabs door and says, “I got you” Female with mobility disability screams and falls on floor, “oh no!”) might actually not.
Alice: If you’d like to offer me help let me hold on to your elbow. Don’t take mine.
Male to Alice: Hey, would you like to take my arm?
Male wheelchair user: Assistive devices help us to live our lives. They’re really important and really personal.
Female with mobility disability: Grabbing them only makes it weird for everyone.
Male: What? (after smacks fly with woman’s assistive device)
Female with service dog: Please only touch our devices and services animals if we’ve given you permission. And don’t take it personally if I ask you not to. Remember that my service animal helps me all the time. Neither of us would like it if we were separated.
Male with non-apparent disability: Remember, we make our own decisions. We sign documents, vote, volunteer, work and pay taxes.
Male with female: We get married
Male: So don’t underestimate me just because I have a great smile.
Alice: Just because I’m blind
Man yelling into microphone: May I help you?!
Alice: Does not mean I’m deaf.
Male signing: Just because I’m deaf doesn’t mean I’m blind
Male wheelchair user: And just because I use a wheelchair doesn’t mean that I can’t sweep you off your feet.
Male signing: So take a deep breath. Relax, we don’t bite
Male: Unless we’re really hungry! (Takes bite out of sandwich)
Waiter at café: Hello ladies. How are you?
Alice: And if you’re not sure what to do, just ask.
Waiter: Would you like to see a menu?
Alice: No thanks, but could you please read it to me?
Waiter: Sure, definitely.
Male signing: Just treat us the way you would want to be treated, and we’ll all be OK.
[elevator scene again with elevator music]
Bob: Good morning
To Alice: morning Alice.
Alice: Morning (fist bump)
Narrator: Awkward no more! Nice job, Bob. Go forth and be human
[There’s no need to be awkward theme music]