QWE Practice Guideline: 130: Provide and improve accommodations and the use of assistive technology to increase employee access to work and productivity
Target group: Individuals who have significant physical disabilities or communication barriers that impact their ability to perform tasks, their productivity, and/or their communication.
ODC uses a variety of adaptive devices and fixtures as well as standard manufacturing equipment, either modified or unmodified, to allow people with significant disabilities to participate in work projects and move through the facility independently.
Subject matter experts/trainers
- Staff or a consultant with knowledge of assistive devices and how to train others in their use
- Staff to research equipment, attend assistive technology expos, and possibly engineer solutions
- Adaptive devices
- Manufacturing equipment
- Other items based on employee needs
- Start-up: ODC started an annual appeal campaign in 1978 to raise money for capital equipment purchases.
- Over the years, the annual appeal has grown in size and scope, and the funds are used to purchase and adapt equipment, start up new programs and increase the accessibility of the facilities and workstations.
- Ongoing: On an annual basis, ODC expends approximately $100,000 in donated funds to purchase/adapt equipment and increase the accessibility of the facilities/programs/workstations.
- Sources of funding: ODC's annual appeal is sent out to approximately 4000 people within our communities.
- In addition, ODC submits proposals to organizations and foundations for special projects that will benefit the people we serve.
- On an annual basis, ODC receives approximately $250,000 in donations.
- ODC also benefits from its own endowment funds and the local community foundations’ endowment funds.
- ODC uses a variety of adaptive devices and fixtures as well as standard manufacturing equipment, either modified or unmodified, to allow people with significant disabilities to participate in work projects and move through the facility independently.
- Examples include automatic label dispensers, magnifiers, talking scales, talking counters, switches, etc. are utilized for a variety of projects, as well as automation where feasible to allow people to more easily complete tasks.
- Many of the modifications are simple adaptations that are made for specific individuals (example, if a person has use of only one hand, creating a jig that allows the task to be easily done with one hand).
- In addition, many upgrades to the facilities have been made, including touchless automatic doors, doors that open with the press of a button, personal care rooms that have overhead transfer lifts and adjustable changing tables, private areas where individuals can "retreat" if they are experiencing overstimulation on the work floor, and so on.
- ODC is also beginning to use more augmentative communication technology to help people communicate.
- Individual: Many individuals with significant physical limitations have been able to participate in many of the work projects as a result of the assistive technology. For example, individuals with cerebral palsy or limited use of one or both hands are able to be in the work program and complete tasks.
- Organization: ODC has a work program that is designed for individuals who have more intensive support needs due to the severity of their disabilities; it is because of our ability to utilize assistive technology and adapt jobs that this program is successful.
NPA: ODC Location: Wisconsin Rapids, WI Date Submitted: 2012 Website: https://www.odcinc.com/
Resources: Quality Work Environment Workbook