Ergonomics saving your back and arms
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Ergonomics: Saving your Back and Arms - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Ergonomics: Saving your Back and Arms. Chapter 4.1.5. Overview. Ergonomics is the study of efficient use of space to save our energy and prevent injury . The work of SSPs is both mental and physical .

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PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Ergonomics: Saving your Back and Arms' - vicky

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Presentation Transcript


  • Ergonomics is the study of efficient use of space to save our energy and prevent injury.

  • The work of SSPs is both mental and physical.

  • This presentation focuses on the physical aspects of work as an SSP, and when communicating with DB people.

Eyes ears arms backs
Eyes, Ears, Arms & Backs

  • Listening as a DB person is more physically straining than for a hearing person (listening to ordinary speech).

  • For DB people listening auditorily causes strain for the focus it requires.

  • For DB people, watching causes eye strain.

Eyes ears arms backs cont

  • Reaching up to feel signs causes more strain than being on the same level.

  • For DB people it is important to be in a good position – to see, hear, feel.

Avoid leaning
Avoid Leaning

  • When signing tactually get close. Notice the back strain for the people in the picture.

  • At least the man on the left is supporting himself on the table.

Tactile position
Tactile Position

  • Another power point describes positions for guiding. Some of the different positions relate to ergonomics.

  • For communication there are key principles or points.

Tactile positions cont
Tactile Positions, cont.


  • Take time to get comfortable

  • Get close

  • Be on the same level

  • Have support for your arms and back


In the next slide, instructor Jelica Nuccio demonstrate the conversational position for communicating tactually, while SSPs gather around to watch.


  • In the next two slides, the women are seated side by side to communicate tactually.

  • They are close enough to each other that they can use the backs of the chairs for support.

  • They can also rest their arms in their laps when they pause, and still feel some of the body language of each other as they chat.

Temporary positioning
Temporary Positioning

  • In the next two slides someone approaches a seated friend(s) to ask a quick question. They squat down so they are both on the same level and the DB persons do not have to reach up, straining their arms.

  • For longer conversations both/all will be seated or stand to save knees as well as arms and backs.

Pillows tables chairs knees
Pillows, Tables, Chairs, Knees

  • For long meetings or week-long conferences (here at AADB) some people like pillows.

  • For long conversations, tables and the backs of chairs are good supports as well.

Shoulders elbows
Shoulders & Elbows

  • When you can, put your arms down so your shoulder and elbows can rest.

  • In the next slide the SSP rests her arms while guiding the DB person.

Shoulders elbows cont
Shoulders & Elbows, cont.

  • In the next picture, the SSP rests her left arm but keeps contact with the DB person using her right arm.

  • Nevertheless, the SSP’s right arm is still hanging comfortably down from her shoulder. It is only her forearm that is raised.

Time pace
Time & Pace

  • Doing good SSP work requires good communication.

  • It is often worth the time to pause and communicate clearly about the goals or agenda for the day, and to clarify as you go along.

Time pace cont
Time & Pace, cont.

  • Clear communication may require a pause while you are walking.

  • It takes time for the DB person to process the minimal information they get through feet and cane regarding the terrain.

  • Don’t rush!

Find a quiet place
Find a Quiet Place

  • Noise (auditory, visual, physical or emotional) is both distracting and stressful.

  • Sit or stand away from traffic so you can focus.

  • Don’t stand for long in the doorway or aisle blocking others.

Find a quiet place cont
Find a Quiet Place, cont.

  • Remind yourself that you are here for the DB person; let all thoughts and worries about your own chores or worries be on hold while you shift into the DEAF-BLIND WAY and focus on the work.

In general
In General

Be sure your shoes and clothes support your work.

  • Baggy sleeves and some jewelry get in the way

  • Your tops should be of plain, contrasting colors

In general cont
In General, cont.

Clothes with generous pockets and a small day-pack or purse that you can wear over your shoulder or across your chest will help free up your hands.


Your shoes should be comfortable, with flat, non-slip soles for good balance. Sandals are often attractive and comfortable, however they do not protect your feet from being bumped or accidentally stepped on.

Which side
Which side?

  • Many hard-of-hearing people have better hearing in one ear than in the other. Check this out.

  • The same is true for DB people listening tactually. Do they have a preference for one hand over the other?

  • Being on the ‘better side’ will save strain for the DB person.

Left side
Left Side

In the next slide the woman is reading the tactile map with her left hand. The SSP-guide verbally describes the map while gently guiding the blind woman’s hand to the mark.


  • SSP work is physical as well as mental.

  • Take time to be comfortable. Get on the same level to communicate (both standing, etc.)

  • Take the opportunity to rest your arms and back.

Conclusion cont
Conclusion, cont.

  • Don’t try to do too much in one outing. Rushing creates stress.

  • Plan ahead so you will have the right clothes.