Tools, Technology, and Training Help Employee Maximize Hand FunctionOct 21, 2022
October is National Occupational Therapy Month, so throughout the month we are highlighting Occupational Therapists and the work they do. This month is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. With this success story, we reflect on how OTs can help employees with disabilities achieve success in their workplaces.
Occupational Therapists help employees transform their lives every day. Read our Success Stories to learn how we have enabled employees across thousands of organizations to achieve better health and productivity.
- Andrew* communicated primarily through American Sign Language (ASL) and some lipreading.
- The employee’s job included reviewing lengthy legal documents for accuracy, doing research to verify documents, and editing
- Spent the majority of the day at the computer workstation.
Barriers to Work Performance
Andrew started to report some significant discomfort in his upper extremities. His job demands were significantly demanding in that he was keying and mousing throughout the workday, and he was also using his hands significantly for communication purposes. Andrew was concerned that this could present a barrier going forward in his life if he actually ended up with an injury that could impact his ability to use his hands.
The Occupational Therapy Approach
- The Occupational Therapist looked creatively at different ergonomic tools and assistive technologies that would help reduce the physical demands of the job while improving efficiency.
- A disability awareness training session was completed with the employee’s colleagues to bring awareness to the best communication strategies to use with the employee in a variety of settings.
*Note that all names and other personal identifiers have been changed to protect the identity of the employee.