How to deal with disabled people as a receptionist?

Got an interview tomorrow for receptionist job at GP surgery, but anticipate they might ask me this question about dealing with people with learning difficulties, blind, deaf. How do I land with the best answer at the interview? Any tips appreciated.

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7 Responses to “How to deal with disabled people as a receptionist?”

  1. GinnyBRock says:

    Speak to them as you would anyone else. As a receptionist at a GP, your interaction with people is going to be quite brief anyway. someone answered "offer them assistance if they need it" NO, offer them assistance if they ASK you for assitance. Making the assumption that a person with a disability needs help is plain rude. This person is living with their disability, so they themselves know their capabilities. Remember that.

    I work with people who have intellectual disabilities, i support them to all their Doctors appointments, and it’s pretty straight forward. You greet them, check them in for their appointment and tell them to wait in the waiting room until they are called. Be friendly, be professional and if they are with a support worker, always address the person, not the worker. As a support worker, I only ever offer assistance if the people I support ask it of me. same goes for you.

  2. Scott says:

    You treat them as you’d want to be treated; no different to anyone else. But offer assistance if they need it.

  3. Chris says:

    Most of the time, the way we interact with these people means a lot. There are tactful ways to approach them.

    For example, people in wheel chairs definitely sit at a lower eye-level than the rest of the walking population. So when interacting with them, be sure not to lean over them since this might be an encroachment of their personal space. If it’s just for a few moments, consider squatting. If the conversation would take long, pull out a chair. This way you’d still be eye-to-eye with the person. The person need not strain his/her neck just to converse with you.

    You should also be very careful with how you communicate for people with hearing problems for their benefit of course. Speak slowly to make sure that the person can hold on to every word. Some can lip-read so be sure not to cover your mouth while speaking just don’t overemphasize your lip and jaw movements. Hearing aids tend to magnify all sounds including ambient noise, so better go to a more quiet place and converse there.

    Problems may also affect speech. Stroke victims for example, may have speech impairments causing them to speak slowly. Be a patient listener and avoid cutting them off in the middle of their sentence.

    For the blind or those with visual impairments, be sure to identify yourself. Use your normal speaking voice so that the person will be able to recognise you. If the person was born blind, avoid making references to visual cues like describing things like color or starting conversation with “Have you seen…?”

    It may seem like tough work but being sensitive to these things would make interacting with them a lot better.

    Incorporate that in an answer and you have your winner.


    Q: how well do you cope with disabled people?
    A: I believe I cope extremely well with people who have disabilitys. I understand how important it is to be sensitive towards them and understand they
    are no worse a person than me and deserve to be treated equally while maintaining
    a professional attitude towards them.

    something along those lines is fine.


    also I wanted to add after reading C Stevens reply to this question, I don’t intend you to lie on your interview.. be honest but learn from what people have said here its really valuable advice.. working with and around disabled people can be extremely difficult but the willing and understanding of their needs will tick the box on the interviewers question. It all comes down to experience, I’ve got a down syndrome family member and one uncle who is deaf and I volunteered in a rest bite for the elderly when I was young. If it’s something that bothers you per-say working with them (not just answering the question @ interview) I would suggest trying to put yourself in a situation where you have interactions with people like it.

  4. Jamesy says:

    "I would attempt to communicate with them the best I could however if unable to understand them I would pull a co-worker aside who may be able to assist me in q quick manner to keep the customer happy, and to keep business flowing at a good rate"
    blind and Deaf people are easy to work with, you just have to approach the situation differently. not sure about mentally handicapped though

  5. C Stevens says:

    I think you have received really good answers from Chris and Scott. You could bring up the question yourself to show the interviewer(s) that you are willing to be sensitive to all kinds of people regarding their disabilities and are interested in learning about how to handle all the various people with disabilities that you will invariably encounter if you are offered and accept this position. If you have little experience with people who are disabled, be honest about it, and present yourself as someone who is very willing to learn, to be patient, and to show sensitivity and respect.

  6. awommack says:

    hours smilie be yourself

  7. car05161967 says:

    Just like a Christian would say, ‘Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you’.

    It is not rocket science.

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