This chapter stresses the importance of human service staff treating adults with severe disabilities with dignity. Treating with dignity (vs. lack thereof) is described regarding the effect on individual adults themselves, their family members, and the general public (e.g., how people in local communities view adults with severe disabilities). Recommendations for treating individuals with dignity are provided based on the authors’ professional and personal experiences, related experiences of others involved with adults with disabilities, and consensus opinion in the professional disability field. The recommendations pertain to how staff speak to and about adults with severe disabilities, such as speaking in ways typical with adults versus children. The recommendations also pertain to how staff interact with individuals beyond speaking that reflect dignity or lack thereof (e.g., when staff travel or dine with individuals in public, the staff sitting among the individuals in contrast segregating the individuals in groups separate from staff).
Promoting Desired Lifestyles Among Adults with Severe Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Person Centered Applications of Behavior Analysis 2023, Pages 275-293,