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Communicating with Persons with Disabilities

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Communicating with Persons with Disabilities

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Overview of Teaching Strategy

People with disability often report that health care professionals treat them differently or do not communicate with them about their disability. Some may be uncomfortable discussing it, while others may think that since the disability is “old” or not the primary problem, it is not relevant to the care of the person.

The communication module is designed to promote effective communication of nursing students who will interact with persons with disability during the course of their clinical experience(s). The module is a teaching strategy that addresses overarching issues related to communication with persons with disability during any and all clinical settings and situations.

It is designed to be used by nursing faculty in a classroom setting at any point during the nursing curriculum. Since effective communication skills are usually introduced early in the nursing curriculum, use of the module and integration with other communication teaching strategies is recommended.


Learning Objectives
Students will:

  • Identify effective and ineffective communication strategies with individuals with disabilities as demonstrated in the communication videos. 
  • Assess personal communication skills and level of comfort in interacting with persons with disabilities.
  • Discuss effective communication strategies to be used when assessing a patient with a disability for other aspects of their health and health care.
  • Recognize the importance of acknowledging the person’s disability, even if it is not the primary problem at the time of the interaction.

ACE.D Knowledge Domains

  • Individualized Care Specific to a Person with a Disability
  • Vulnerability During Transitions
  • Complexity of Care

ACE.D Essential Nursing Actions 

  • Assess Function and Expectations
  • Coordinate and Manageme Care
  • Make Situational Decisions

NLN Competencies for Graduates of Nursing Programs

  • Human Flourishing
  • Nursing Judgment
  • Spirit of Inquiry

To begin, use the links below: 
Getting Started
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