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.
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).
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. Undue Hardship A particular accommodation may not be required if it would cause “significant difficulty or expense” to the employer Another effective accommodation should be sought and implemented
Reasonable Accommodations:The Interactive Process • The employee (or representative, such as spouse, friend, doctor, etc.) requests the reasonable accommodation. • 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.
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)
Talking Products Talking Tape Measure Talking Calculator
Magnifiers Bar Magnifier Dome Magnifier Illuminated Magnifier Hand & Stand Magnifier Magnified Lamp
Frequency Modulated (FM) Systems for Sound Amplification Conference Microphone Williams Sound Personal FM System
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
Typing Aids Standard keyboard with acrylic keyguard Slip-on typing aid
Trackballs Kensington Turbo Mouse Microsoft Optical Trackball Penny & Giles Roller Trackball
Arm & Wrist Supports ErgoRest Forearm Support Gel Wrist Rests
Resources in Pennsylvania for Assistive Technology in the Workplace Who can I contact for help?
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology and Employment Collaborative • A network of Pennsylvania organizations that can provide information on: • Assistive technology and how it can help individuals with disabilities in employment. • Understanding the employer’s responsibility for providing assistive technology. • How to locate, try, and buy assistive technology devices and services, including employer resources and incentives. • Funding provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability and Employment Policy
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) is a federally-funded, non-profit agency that is mandated to protect and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. DRN works with people with disabilities, families, organizations, and advocates to ensure that people with disabilities can live in their communities free of discrimination, abuse, and neglect. DRN’s mission is to advance, protect, and advocate for the civil, human, and legal rights of Pennsylvanians with disabilities.
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN)Services Services: Intake and referral Individual and systemic policy advocacy Legal advice and representation Training and education Among other issues, DRN helps with: Access to assistive technology devices and services Employment matters, including SSI and SSDI recipients who want employment
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN)Contact Information Website: www.drnpa.org Offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, & Pittsburgh: Main Intake in Harrisburg: 800-692-7443 [Voice] 877-375-7139 [TTY] Assistive Technology Project Director: Chava Kintisch, Esq. Philadelphia, 215-238-8070 ext. 210 [Voice] firstname.lastname@example.org 35
Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) P ublic awareness, information and assistance about AT I ncreasing access to AT through demonstrations and device lending A cquisition of AT devices and services, including device reuse programs and free adapted telephones T raining and technical assistance about AT
Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) 1-800-204-7428 (PIAT) -Voice 1-866-268-0579 - TTY http://disabilities.temple.edu/piat ATinfo@temple.edu Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, 610 USB, 1601 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122 Statewide AT Resource Centers - ATRC
PIAT Assistive Technology Resource Centers UCP of NE PA CRI LIFT CIL of NC PA GSRH TRCIL UCP of Central PA PIAT Tri-County PA’s Initiative on Assistive Technology, Institute on Disabilities Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Center for Independent Living of Northcentral PA Community Resources for Independence, Inc. Three Rivers Center for Independent Living United Cerebral Palsy of Northeastern PA Life and Independence for Today Tri-County Patriots for Independent Living United Cerebral Palsy Central PA
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities and their families purchase the assistive technology devices and services they want. PATF serves people with all disabilities, family members, and older adults, regardless of where they live within Pennsylvania. PATF can help people of ALL income levels, but individuals must have an ability to repay a loan.
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) Provides low-interest loans, mini-loans / mini-grants, information about other assistive technology programs in Pennsylvania, and information about other possible funding sources in Pennsylvania. Provides significantly lower interest rates, extended repayment periods, flexible eligibility requirements, and rescue payments. Consumer choice program. Borrowers choose the technology they want from the vendor of their choice!
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) Contact Information Website: www.patf.us 888-744-1938 [Toll-free voice/TTY] 484-674-0510 [Fax] 1004 West 9th Avenue 1st Floor King of Prussia, PA 19406 Independence is priceless…we help make it affordable
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Programs The Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Programs assist Social Security beneficiaries with transitioning from dependence on public benefits to paid employment and greater economic self-sufficiency. Pennsylvania has three WIPA Programs: AHEDD, Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) WIPA Program, and Goodwill PASSABCO.
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Programs Help Social Security beneficiaries who have received a Ticket to Work and are interested in working. Help Social Security beneficiaries understand work rules and regulations. Recommend work incentives that can maximize income and healthcare options. Help Social Security beneficiaries understand how returning to work will impact benefits. Connect Social Security beneficiaries with Employment Networks and other employment support services.
AHEDD Contact Information AHEDD is a private, non-profit company established in 1977 with a mission to serve the community as a catalyst in the employment and development of persons with disabilities. AHEDD operates an array of employment programs by partnering with business and persons with disabilities through a network throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware. Website: www.ahedd.org Vice President: John Miller (717) 763-0968 ext. 118 [Voice] email@example.com [Email]
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) WIPA Program Contact Information Serves Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties Website: www.drnpa.org Project Director: Phyllis Hilley 267-312-4789 [Voice] firstname.lastname@example.org [Email]
Goodwill PASSABCO Contact Information Serves 36 counties in Eastern Pennsylvania. Website: www.yourgoodwill.org Project Director: Corey Nelson 866-541-7005 [Voice] 866-541-7001 [TTY] email@example.com [Email]
Pennsylvania BusinessLeadership Network (PA BLN) The Pennsylvania Business Leadership Network (PA BLN) is an employer driven program designed for business leaders to promote hiring practices that enable qualified people with disabilities to enter and succeed in the workplace. The emphasis of the PA BLN is to create opportunities where employers can communicate, peer-to-peer, to provide candid and frank assessments of hiring successes and challenges.
Pennsylvania BusinessLeadership Network (PA BLN) Provides employers with access to a network of their peers as well as opportunities for training, positive public relations, an increased number of applicants with a disability, and a centralized source of information. Part of a national initiative of about 43 chapters of BLNs in 32 states.