What to do - Assistance to cognitive disabled people

Giving assistance to people with disabilities in emergency situations requires some special precautions.

These suggestions can and should be of everyone's interest, even if in our family do not live people with disabilities:in emergency it is highly possible to rescue not only their family but also friends, colleagues, acquaintances, neighbours, classmates, strangers who may need help. It is good that everyone has at least the basics for giving assistance to disabled people.

People with cognitive disabilities

Remember that people with learning disabilities:

  • may have difficulty performing complex instructions, more than a short sequence of simple actions;
  • in dangerous situations may show partial or no collaboration attitudes towards those who is carryng out the rescue.


  • Make sure that the person has perceived how dangerous the situation is
  • Accompany the person if they show little sense of direction 
  • Provide instructions divided into simple stages
  • Use simple signals or symbols that can be easily understood
  • Try to interpret the possible reactions

When facing aggressive behaviours, give priority to safeguard the physical safety of the person. Recur coercive intervention if this is the only possible solution.