What people with disability really think when you interact

Former Australian Paralympian and APM Communities General Manager, Jason Diederich, has co-authored a book to help people improve communication with people with disability.

Jason wrote the book with Lindsay Tighe, speaker, businesswoman, author and coach at Better Questions.

The pair wrote the book titled I’m disabled… NOT STUPID! for readers who regularly interact with people with disability and may not realise when their non-verbal communication has an impact.

“This book aims to help people become more aware of their unconscious communication style which often is unintentionally disrespectful and demeaning,” Jason said.

Jason was just 10 years old when he and his parents made the decision to amputate his right leg. His legs were growing at different rates with a 10cm difference in length.

The former Paralympian has never let his disability hold him back and he swam both the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Paralympics - winning silver in both.

In the book, Lindsay and Jason not only highlight the consequences of this communication style, they also look at how society’s expectations of people with disability have a detrimental impact upon them.

“Some really simple and practical tips are shared that help us all to improve our way of communicating,” Jason added.

“These tips not only enable people with disability to be empowered, achieve their potential and maximise their opportunities for independence, they actually help us to improve our communication with everyone that we interact with.”

Proceeds from the book go towards the peer support program at Limbs4Life, an organisation that supports people with limb loss.

APM Communities deliver NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Local Area Coordination services in parts of Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The team helps people with disability, NDIS participants, families and carers to identify and access the support they need including mainstream and community-based support.

For more information visit apm.net.au/ndis

Copies of the book are available to order at betterquestions.com.au.