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Work Tools to Accommodate Individuals with Disabilities Revised May 2008 by the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology and Employment Collaborative, with.

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Presentation on theme: "Work Tools to Accommodate Individuals with Disabilities Revised May 2008 by the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology and Employment Collaborative, with."— Presentation transcript:


2 AT @ Work Tools to Accommodate Individuals with Disabilities Revised May 2008 by the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology and Employment Collaborative, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability and Employment Policy 1 Assistive Technology in the Workplace 1

3 Why Are We Here? People with disabilities can work! Disability does not negate the individual’s skills, talent, and knowledge. Increased pool of potential employees. Keep trained employees in the workplace after injuries. 2 2

4 Large Pool of Potential 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) 3

5 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). 4 4

6 Assistive Technology Devices Low Tech Devices: Inexpensive, easily made, easy to learn, readily available, easy to replace / maintain. 5 Early PDA…! Notebook with communication pictures Reacher Large timer 5

7 Assistive Technology Devices Mid: May cost more, require some training, have special design, often need power source. 6 Powerlink Communication device Large button phone 6

8 Assistive Technology Devices High: Higher cost, need specific training to learn, often customized. 7 Refreshable braille display Text to speech software PDA with organizing software Eye-gaze computer access 7

9 Where Are Assistive 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 8 8

10 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). 9 9

11 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 10

12 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 11

13 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) 12

14 The Principles of Universal Design Equitable use. Flexibility in use. Simple and intuitive. Perceptible information. Tolerance for error. Low physical effort. Size and space for approach and use. 13

15 Universal Design Advantages (Almost) everyone can benefit. Can reduce job accommodation costs associated with retrofitting and additional purchases. 14

16 Universal Design Examples Tools Curb Cuts Automatic Doors Accessible Websites ergonomic box cutter E-mail / Text Messaging 15

17 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. 16

18 17 Reasonable Accommodations Enable a person with a disability to: Participate equally in the job application process. Perform “essential functions” of the job. – Fundamental job duties – Job descriptions are helpful Enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment. 17

19 Reasonable Accommodations: Employers Covered Employers with 15 or more employees. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act covers smaller employers. 18

20 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. 19

21 20 Undue Hardship A particular accommodation may not be required if it would cause “significant difficulty or expense” by 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 accommodation should be sought and implemented, however. 20

22 Ways to Provide 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 paid leave or allowing unpaid extra leave. Providing or modifying equipment, including assistive technology. 21

23 22 Assistive Technology Accommodation Examples Can be low cost to high cost: – Use of color to mark files / bins / controls. – Simplified instructions using diagrams. – Tape recorder to record / review instructions. – Large button telephone. – Use of video to demonstrate tasks. – Information in large print or Braille. – Automatic soap dispensers and hand dryers. – Software or hardware for computer access. – Automatic doors and / or a ramp. 22

24 23 Reasonable Accommodation: 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. 23

25 24 Reasonable Accommodation: The Interactive Process After the request: The employer should start the interactive process, including the employee, supervisor, and other relevant people (e.g., human resources, doctors, computer experts, state vocational rehabilitation agency). The employer must take affirmative steps to help the employee identify an effective accommodation, including facilitating any necessary evaluations. The employer should use all available resources (e.g., EEOC, Job Accommodation Network, assistive technology specialist). 24

26 Reasonable Accommodation: The Interactive Process If an effective, reasonable accommodation is agreed upon, it should be implemented. The employer should follow up to ensure the effectiveness of the accommodation. The individual with a disability must be involved in and cooperate during the entire process. 25

27 The Cost of Assistive Technology Accommodations The employer is responsible to fund any accommodations (generally including evaluation) for the application process or the job. However, there are resources to help! – Federal and state tax credits and deductions – Independent Capital Access Network (ICAN) – Pennsylvania’s Assistive Technology Lending Library – Assistive technology recycling programs – AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians 26

28 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. 27

29 Considerations for Assistive Technology Accommodations The environment and its affect: – Office temperature – Bright lights – Stress levels – Noise levels – Layout of office furniture 28

30 Considerations for Assistive Technology Accommodations Match assistive technology device features to the individual’s needs and skills. Utilize concepts of: – Reasonable accommodation – Undue burden to employer – Risk reduction to employee or coworkers – No Tech or Low Tech may be appropriate and sufficient 29

31 Workplace Assistive Technology Scenario With the help of the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS), William completed intensive blindness skills training and was hired by a local agency. He needed a talking calculator, Braille Note, and a Perkins Brailler to help him perform the essential functions of his job. Through a referral from the Pennsylvania Client Assistance Program, he obtained these items on loan from the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Lending Library while waiting for the delivery of these items purchased for him by BBVS. This enabled him to proceed with job training. William is now successfully employed. (Scenario provided by the Pennsylvania Client Assistance Program) 30

32 Why Assistive Technology? Draw from a greater pool of skilled and talented potential employees. Keep experienced and trained employees as disabilities surface from age, injury, or illness. Create opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Increase productivity through assistive technology and universal design. Utilize financial incentives for employers. 31

33 Why Assistive Technology? Given that assistive technology makes it possible to hire or retain an individual with a disability, employers are encouraged to integrate individuals with disabilities into the workplace through written policies, practices, and programs. 32

34 Five Tips from the Job Accommodation Network Have written policies and procedures. Have a process for requests. – Must include the individual with a disability Train managers how to respond to a request for an accommodation. Monitor and update accommodations. Train new employees. More information at 33

35 Other Assistive Technology Resources for the Individual The individual with a disability may qualify for assistive technology funding for activities of daily living to help get him / her ready for and to work each day. – Examples: Home and Community Based Waivers funded by Medicaid, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation services, public and private health insurance. Contact a Pennsylvania Assistive Technology and Employment Collaborative member for more information. 34

36 Assistive Technology: A Glimpse of What Is Available Remember to consider: – For what task(s) – By whom – In what environment and conditions 35

37 Amplified Phones In-line amplifier Portable amplifier Big button phone Cordless amplified phone 36

38 Headsets Cordless Amplifier with Headset Amplified headsets 37

39 Telecommunication Devices Voice Carry-Over (VCO) Phone TTY with Large Visual Display CapTel Wyndtell (Wireless Device) 38

40 Telephone Signalers Strobe Signaler Combo Super Loud Phone Ringer and Strobe Signaler 39

41 Notification Systems Ameriphone Alertmaster AM-600 alerting system 40

42 Frequency Modulated (FM) Systems for Sound Amplification Williams Sound Personal FM System Conference Microphone 41

43 Noise and Distractibility Hearing Protector Headset Sound Screen – White Noise Noise Canceling Headphones 42

44 Talking Products Talking Rx Talking Alarm ClockTalking Kitchen Scale 43

45 Talking Products Talking Tape MeasureTalking Calculator 44

46 Lighting Full Spectrum & Natural Spectrum Lighting Offices are typically over-lit with harsh and glare-producing lighting. A better setup is low background lighting supported by localized task lighting. In addition, you can replace standard bulbs, especially fluorescent bulbs, with bulbs that more closely approximate natural daylight. Left: without filter tubes. Right: with filter tubes. Less glare and colors are truer. 45

47 See It Right Color transparencies Colored transparent folders 46

48 Magnifiers Bar Magnifier Dome Magnifier Hand & Stand Magnifier Illuminated Magnifier Magnified Lamp 47

49 Video Magnification Tabletop stand alone video magnifier Portable Connects to TV or monitor 48

50 AlphaSmart NeoDana 49

51 Individuals with Learning Disabilities Amplified or focused sound. Changes in color. Computer applications. Personal Organizers. PDAs with software. 50

52 Word Prediction Software WordQ Co:Writer 4000 51

53 Graphic Organizers Inspiration Draft:Builder 52

54 Scan & Read Software WYNN Kurzweil 3000 Cast eReader 53

55 Dexterity and Positioning Assistive Technology Arthwriter D-Grip (Image taken from: 54

56 Computer Access Cognition and Learning Hearing Vision Dexterity 55

57 “Keys” for Access Keyboards Monitors / Screens Alternative Mouse Options Software Workstation Setup 56

58 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? 57

59 Web Access Myths 1.Accessible web pages are dull. 2.They are too time-consuming and expensive to design. 3.They only accommodate a few individuals. 4.Web authoring (coding) is too hard to learn. 5.The Web is graphical and cannot / should not be adapted for auditory or text-only users. 6.Assistive technology can solve the problem. 58

60 Basic Concerns for Web Design Maintain a simple, consistent page layout. Keep backgrounds simple. Make sure there is enough contrast. Provide text alternatives to graphics and image maps. Include descriptive captions for pictures. Use tables and frames sparingly or consider alternatives. Design larger buttons. Caption video and transcribe other audio. Test your web pages with a variety of browsers. 59

61 Web Design Resources World Wide Web Consortium – Web Accessibility Tool: – 60

62 Filters Glare FilterPrivacy & Improved Contrast Filter Laptop Shade 61

63 Computer Screen Magnifiers 62

64 Built-In Accessibility Features Both Microsoft and Macintosh have built-in accessibility features to address many disabilities. Go to or for more 63

65 Free Software Options NaturalReader ReadPlease 64

66 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). 65

67 Text To Speech Software Universal Reader Write:OutLoud 66

68 Ergonomic Keyboards Contoured Keyboard Goldtouch Keyboard Ergonomic Keyboard Keypad 67

69 Wireless for Bluetooth 68

70 BigKeys Keyboard Large Print Keyboard Sticker Labels Large Print / Large Size Keyboards 69

71 Mini Keyboard Compact Keyboard Little Fingers Keyboard Small / Compact Keyboards Portable keyboard for PDA 70

72 One Handed Keyboards Maltron One Handed Keyboard Half Keyboard 71

73 Typing Aids Slip-on typing aid Standard keyboard with acrylic keyguard 72

74 On-Screen Keyboard 73

75 Ergonomic Mice Contour Design Perfit Mouse Vertical Mouse Renaissance Mouse 74

76 Trackballs Penny & Giles Roller Trackball Kensington Turbo Mouse Microsoft Optical Trackball 75

77 Alternative Mice Controls Penny & Giles Roller Joystick QuadJoy 76

78 Head Mouse SmartNav AT SmartNav Toolbar SmartNav reflective dots 77

79 Workstation Setup Mouse Placement: Keep the pointer / mouse close to the keyboard. Alternate hands with which you operate the pointer / mouse. Use keyboard short cuts to reduce extended use. 78

80 Workstation Setup Work Surface: Desk surface should allow you to place the monitor directly in front of you, at least 20 inches away. Avoid storing items, such as a CPU, under desks. Desks should be able to accommodate a variety of working postures. 79

81 Arm & Wrist Supports ErgoRest Forearm Support Gel Wrist Rests 80

82 Copy Holders / Phone Arm EasyView Document Holder Articulating Document Holder Height Adjustable Holder Phone Arm 81

83 Monitor Placement Standard CRT arm Monitor Stackers Flat Screen Arm Electric Monitor & Keyboard Lift 82

84 Desks / Workstations Sit / Stand Adjustable Desks Height Adjustable Desk with Hand Crank Motorized Height Adjustable Desk 83

85 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 84

86 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. 85

87 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 86

88 Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) Contact Information Website: 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] – 87

89 Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) P ublic awareness, information and assistance I ncreasing access through demonstrations and device lending A cquisition of devices and services, including device reuse programs and free adapted telephones T raining and technical assistance 88

90 PIAT Assistive Technology Resource Centers LIFT CRI TRCIL UCP of NE PA Tri-County Community Resources for Independence, Inc. Three Rivers Center for Independent Living Life and Independence for Today United Cerebral Palsy Central PA Center for Independent Living of Northcentral PA United Cerebral Palsy of Northeastern PA Tri-County Patriots for Independent Living PA’s Initiative on Assistive Technology, Institute on Disabilities Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital CIL of NC PA GSRH PIAT UCP of Central PA 89

91 1-800-204-7428 (PIAT) -Voice 1-866-268-0579 - TTY Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, 610 USB, 1601 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122 Statewide AT Resource Centers - ATRC Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) 90

92 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. 91

93 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. 92

94 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: Vice President: John Miller (717) 763-0968 ext. 118 [Voice] [Email] 93

95 Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) WIPA Program Contact Information Serves Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties Website: Project Director: Phyllis Hilley 800-692-7443 [Voice] 877-375-7139 [Email] 94

96 Goodwill PASSABCO Contact Information Serves 36 counties in Eastern Pennsylvania. Website: Project Director: Corey Nelson 866-541-7005 [Voice] 866-541-7001 [TTY] [Email] 95

97 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. 96

98 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! 97

99 Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) Contact Information Website: 888-744-1938 [Toll-free voice/TTY] 484-674-0510 [Fax] 1004 West 9 th Avenue 1 st Floor King of Prussia, PA 19406 Independence is priceless…we help make it affordable 98

100 Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership Mission – To ensure the efficient and effective advancement and encouragement for statewide and local productivity, achievement, growth and development that focuses on the abilities, innovation and creativity at the state and local level of a consolidated workforce program. 99

101 Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership Responsible for the management, administration and oversight of operations for programs funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), including: enrollment, service delivery, job training, contract development, and certification of training providers. Responsible for the management, administration and oversight of operations for programs funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), including: enrollment, service delivery, job training, contract development, and certification of training providers. 100

102 Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership Contact Information Creating opportunities for Pennsylvanians by ensuring universal access to workforce development, training, and education programs that equip individuals with the skills employers need to be successful. For additional information please contact: – Bill Moulfair at (717) 772-8855 [Voice] – [Email] 101

103 Pennsylvania Business Leadership 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. 102

104 Pennsylvania Business Leadership 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. 103

105 Pennsylvania Business Leadership Network (PA BLN) Contact Information Website: Project Director: Stacy Kyle 717-763-0968 ext. 115 [Voice] [Email] 104

106 Pennsylvania Client Assistance Program (CAP) The Pennsylvania Client Assistance Program (CAP) serves as a vital link between vocational rehabilitation, independent living, and people with disabilities in the community. CAP advises applicants and clients of services available under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. CAP provides information and referral about Title I of the ADA. CAP provides outreach to unserved / underserved populations. 105

107 Pennsylvania Client Assistance Program (CAP) Helps individuals pursue administrative and legal remedies to ensure protection of their rights under the Rehabilitation Act. Helps individuals to resolve questions or concerns about vocational rehabilitation, independent living, and other services funded under the Rehabilitation Act. Provides systemic advocacy on issues impacting the delivery of vocational rehabilitation services. 106

108 Pennsylvania Client Assistance Program (CAP) Contact Information Website: 888-745-2357 [Voice/TTY - toll free in PA] 888-745-2357 [Voice/TTY - toll free in PA] [Email] 1617 JFK Blvd., Suite 800 Philadelphia, PA 19103 “The statewide advocate for people with disabilities: ensuring that vocational rehabilitation is open and responsive to your needs.” 107

109 Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council Employment Committee The Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council Employment Committee’s goal is to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities by working with employers, trade associations, Centers for Independent Living, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and others crucial to the employment of people with disabilities. 108

110 Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council Employment Committee Contact Information Website: Coordinator: Melissa Simmons (717) 364-1732 ext. 106 [Voice] [Email] [Email] 2 North 2nd St., Suite 100 Harrisburg, PA 17101 109

111 Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) OVR’s mission is to help Pennsylvanians with disabilities secure and maintain employment and independence. The Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (BVRS) serves vocational needs of all individuals with disabilities except those with blindness or visual impairments. The agency has 21 district offices in two field Bureaus located in 15 different communities across the Commonwealth. 110

112 Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) The Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) focuses on the rehabilitation and independence of citizens with blindness or low vision. BBVS also provides Rehabilitation Teaching, Orientation and Mobility Training, and Social Work services. Individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria to receive services and services are individualized according to need and employment goal. 111

113 Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Contact Information All services are eligibility based, individualized based on need, and may only be provided in relation to achievement of an employment goal (with exception of the specialized services in BBVS). Website: Keyword OVR 1-800-442-635 / (717) 787-5244 (Voice) 1-866-830-7327 / (717) 787-4885 (TTY) 1-800-622-2842 / (717) 787-6176 (BBVS only) 112

114 Thank you! 113

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