Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Applied Communication Research 22:3 (1994), pp. 287–294

doi: 10.1080/00909889409365403


Copyright © 1994 National Communication Association; published by Taylor and Francis. Used by permission.


The enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has resulted in considerable misinformation and resistance, especially when ablebodied individuals and persons with disabilities interact. This essay reviews contributions of interpersonal communication researchers who address the challenges persons with disabilities face when communicating with ablebodied others, suggesting ways to mitigate communication discomfort and to reduce problems in helping situations. The authors suggest foci for future research and training which can contribute to the acceptance and effectiveness of ADA and to facilitate communication between ablebodied persons and persons with disabilities.