Using assistive technology (AT) can make work possible for people with disabilities, and help to keep valuable, aging workers productive. Simply put, AT can be the job accommodation that enables a person to perform a job activity or improve their job performance when disability is present. IPAT has developed a booklet introducing AT for employment which provides a sampling of AT devices as workplace solutions, and potential funding sources for work-site AT.
For people with disabilities, finding employment may seem like a job in itself. However, state vocational rehabilitation services exist to help adults and youth with disabilities find and succeed in employment. In North Dakota, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) provides services to eligible individuals so they can become and remain employed. These services can include an AT assessment, AT trial use, and AT device purchases for employment purposes.
Remember, when on the job, it is the responsibility of the employee to initiate the process of identifying appropriate AT and to self-identify a disability when requesting AT as an accommodation. If you are unsure of how to do this, visit the Job Accommodations Network (JAN). If needed, JAN can offer one-on-one consultation about job accommodation ideas, requesting and negotiating accommodations, and rights to employment as an individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
When work tasks are no longer possible due to aging or disability, don’t forget the potential of AT to be that possibility maker! Have a specific work place scenario you would like to troubleshoot? Contact IPAT to get some AT accommodation ideas.