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Instructions on Helping Someone with an Assistive Device

Many of your customers with disabilities will have their own personal assistive devices. Don't touch or handle an assistive device without permission.

Examples of personal assistive devices:

  • wheelchairs
  • scooters
  • walker
  • amplification devices that boost sound for listeners who are hard-of-hearing without reducing background noise
  • hearing aids
  • oxygen tanks
  • electronic notebooks or laptop computers
  • personal data managers
  • communication boards used to communicate using symbols, words or pictures
  • speech-generating devices that "speak" when a symbol, word or picture is pressed

Moving personal assistive devices

If you have permission to move a person in a wheelchair remember to:


  • wait for and follow the person's instructions;
  • confirm that your customer is ready to move;
  • describe what you are going to do before you do it;
  • avoid uneven ground and objects that create bumpy and unsafe ride; and
  • practice consideration and safety - don't leave the person in an awkward, dangerous or undignified position such as facing a wall or in the path of opening doors.

Things to remember...

  • Do not move items or equipment, such as canes and walkers, out of your customer's reach.
  • Respect your customer's personal space.
  • Do not lean over them or on their assistive device.
  • Let your customer know about accessible features in the immediate environment (automatic doors, accessible washrooms, etc.)
Ministry of Community and Social Services

Please visit the Ministry of Community and Social Services' website for the following resources and more:

Tips sheets on serving customers with various disabilities.

  • Tips sheet on servicing customers with various disabilities.
  • Training Resource, which includes more information and self-tests
  • Dates for Compliance with the Customer Service Standard:
  • How to make your work place accessible
  • Making Buildings and spaces accessible
  • How to plan an accessible meeting
  • How to make information accessible
  • Choose the right word (Word List)

Tools and Useful Links