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Ataxia is a rare and progressive neurological condition that affects people’s balance, coordination and movement. It also affects their sight, speech and hearing. Ataxia does not affect people’s cognition. Some people with ataxia use wheelchairs or walking aids, and some do not; they may appear drunk, with slurred speech and a wobbly gait, and are often accused of being so. They may experience fatigue, and tire easily.

Top Tips:

  • Speak clearly and project your voice: people with ataxia may not be able to hear you very well 

  • Ask if they need any assistance in carrying things 

  • Ask if they need help finding anything in the store 

  • Be patient with their reply. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat themselves if their speech is a little difficult to follow.

Do you have any feedback on the overview and top tips or would like us to add further conditions to the app? Email us at