AT @ Work. Tools to Accommodate Employees with Disabilities Revised May 2009 by the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology and Employment Collaborative, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability and Employment Policy. Assistive Technology in the Workplace.
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AT @ Work Tools to Accommodate Employees with Disabilities Revised May 2009 by the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology and Employment Collaborative, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability and Employment Policy Assistive Technologyin the Workplace
Why Are We Here? People with disabilities can work! Disability doesnot negate the individual’s skills, talent, and knowledge. Increased pool of potential employees. Keep trained employees in the workplace after injuries.
Large Pool ofPotential Employees 13.0% people in the United States have a disability (ages 21 - 64). Pennsylvania – 13.7% 62.8% of all people with disabilities are unemployed (ages 16 - 64). (from United States Census Bureau 2006 American Community Survey)
What Is Assistive Technology? Device “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (AT Act of 1998, as amended). Service "any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device" (AT Act of 1998, as amended).
Assistive Technology Devices Low Tech Devices: Inexpensive, easily made, easy to learn, readily available, easy to replace and maintain. Early PDA…! Large timer Reacher Notebook with communication pictures
Assistive Technology Devices Powerlink Communication device Large button phone • Mid: May cost more, require some training, have special design, often need power source.
Assistive Technology Devices PDA with organizing software Text to speech software Refreshable braille display • High: Higher cost, need specific training to learn, often customized. Eye-gaze computer access
Where AreAssistive Technology Devices? Low, mid, and high tech devices can be found: At common local stores (Home Depot, Staples) At specialized vendors (Maxi-Aids, Infogrip, Dynavox) In generic catalogs On the Internet
Assistive Technology Services Evaluation for appropriate devices. Selection of the appropriate device. Coordination with service providers (e.g., therapists, engineers). Training / technical assistance for the person and supporting individuals (e.g., personal assistants).
Assistive Technology Specialists: A - O Academic Specialist Adaptive Driving Specialist (car and van) Adaptive Microcomputer Specialist Assistive Technology Specialist Audiologist Home Modifications Specialist Learning Disabilities Specialist Occupational Therapist Orientation and Mobility Specialist
Assistive Technology Specialists: P - Z Physiatrist Physical Therapist Recreational Therapists Rehabilitation Engineer / Fabricator Sensory Aids Specialists Specialized Career Evaluator Speech Language Pathologist Telecommunications Specialist Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Universal Design Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.–Ron Mace (NCSU)
The Principles ofUniversal Design Equitable use. Flexibility in use. Simple and intuitive. Perceptible information. Tolerance for error. Low physical effort. Size and space for approach and use.
Universal Design Advantages (Almost) everyone can benefit. Can reduce job accommodation costs associated with retrofitting and additional purchases.
Universal Design Examples Tools Curb Cuts Automatic Doors Accessible Websites ergonomic box cutter E-mail / Text Messaging
Job Accommodations Reasonable Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities
Reasonable Accommodations Also known as job accommodations. Modifications or adjustments to job functions, work environments, or “the way things usually are done” so that an individual with a disability gets an equal employment opportunity.
Reasonable Accommodations Enable a person with a disability to: • Participate equally in job application process • Perform “essential functions” of the job. • Fundamental job duties • Job descriptions • Enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment.
Reasonable Accommodations • Reasonable accommodations need not be the “best” or “ideal” but need only be “effective.” • The employer does not have to provide an accommodation primarily for personal use. • Accommodations should assist in performing job functions.
Reasonable Accommodations:The Interactive Process The employee (or representative, such as spouse, friend, doctor, etc.) requests the reasonable accommodation. No “magic words” are required. It is a good idea for the request to be made in writing. 21
Reasonable Accommodations:The Interactive Process • After the request is made, the employer should initiate the interactive process,including the employee, supervisor, and other relevant people (e.g., human resources, doctors, computer experts, state vocational rehabilitation agency, etc.). • The employer must take affirmative steps to help the employee identify a possible accommodation. • The employee must be a part of the process. • Employers must provide an effective accommodation, not necessarily the exact accommodation requested by the employee. • If an effective, reasonable accommodation is agreed upon, it should be implemented.
Reasonable Accommodations • Undue Hardship • A particular accommodation may not be required if it would cause “significant difficulty or expense” to the employer • Undue Hardship is any accommodation that would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive, or that would fundamentally alter the nature of the business • Another effective accommodations should be sought and implemented
Examples of Reasonable Accommodations • Making the work environment physically accessible • Altering when or how a job function is performed • Part-time or modified work schedules • Use of accrued or paid leave or allowing unpaid extra leave • Providing or modifying equipment
Examples of AT Accommodations • Can be low cost to high cost • Use of color to mark files/bins/controls • Simplified instructions using diagrams • Automatic bathroom soap dispensers and hand dryers • Automatic doors and/or ramp
The Cost of AT Accommodations • The potential employer or employer is responsible to fund any assistive technology accommodations for the application process or the job. • However, there are funding sources to help! • Federal and state tax credits and deductions • Independent Access Capital Network (ICAN) • Pennsylvania’s Assistive Technology Lending Library
Where to Get the Assistive Technology Always ask the person who needs it. Contact an assistive technology specialist for an evaluation. Contact Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT). Contact the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF). Search Internet, local stores, etc.
Sample Assistive Technology Devices for the Workplace Remember – assistive technology selection is based on function, not the employee’s disability!
Amplified Phones In-line amplifier Portable amplifier Big button phone Cordless amplified phone
Telecommunication Devices Voice Carry-Over (VCO) Phone TTY with Large Visual Display CapTel Wyndtell (Wireless Device)
Frequency Modulated (FM) Systems for Sound Amplification Conference Microphone Williams Sound Personal FM System
Talking Products Talking Tape Measure Talking Calculator
See It Right Colored transparent folders Color transparencies
Magnifiers Bar Magnifier Dome Magnifier Illuminated Magnifier Hand & Stand Magnifier Magnified Lamp
Video Magnification Portable Tabletop stand alone video magnifier Connects to TV or monitor
Computer Access Cognition and Learning Hearing Vision Dexterity
“Keys” for Access Keyboards Monitors / Screens Alternative Mouse Options Software Workstation Setup
Web Access Online information needs to be presented so that all individuals can understand. Web-based proprietary applications need to work with assistive technology. Focus: Who can understand it? Who can see it? Who can read it? Who can navigate it?
Web Design Resources World Wide Web Consortium www.w3.org/WAI Web Accessibility Tool: www.wave.webaim.org/index.jsp
Built-In Accessibility Features Both Microsoft and Macintosh have built-in accessibility features to address many disabilities. Go to www.microsoft.com or www.apple.com/mac for more information.
Voice Recognition Software (Speech to Text) Voice Recognition allows a user to use his / her voice as an input device. Voice recognition may be used to dictate text into the computer or to give commands to the computer (such as opening application programs, pulling down menus, or saving work).
Text To Speech Software Universal Reader Write:OutLoud
Ergonomic Keyboards Contoured Keyboard Goldtouch Keyboard Ergonomic Keyboard Keypad
Large Print / Large Size Keyboards Large Print Keyboard Sticker Labels BigKeys Keyboard
Small / Compact Keyboards Compact Keyboard Mini Keyboard Little Fingers Keyboard Portable keyboard for PDA
One Handed Keyboards Half Keyboard Maltron One Handed Keyboard
Typing Aids Standard keyboard with acrylic keyguard Slip-on typing aid