2003 Conference Proceedings

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THE ESSENTIALS OF TEAMING FOR A SUCCESSFUL JOB PLACEMENT, A CASE STUDY

Presenters
Jodie Ryan
Washington Department of Services for the Blind (DSB)
Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist

Michael MacKillop
Washington Department of Services for the Blind (DSB)
Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist

Topics:

Vocational Rehabilitation; Blindness; Job Accommodation; Assistive Technology; Teaming

Overview:

A DSB Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) participant, unemployed for over two years and presenting a significant visual disability, is offered employment in a challenging position in a large federal agency. This case study identifies the unique conditions both supporting and challenging the accommodation process, and discusses the roles and responsibilities that the employer, employee/VR participant, VR Counselor, VR Assistive Technology Specialists, AT Vendors, and other external partners took on in an effort to team towards a fully successful accommodation and job placement.

Position Title: Supplies Systems Analyst
Employer: Federal Agency with over 3,300 employees.
Essential Job Functions: Train employees in effective use of software packages for Human Resource and Data management, and web-based information systems.

Identified Strengths that Assisted in Accommodation:

Identified Challenges To Accommodation:

Roles in Accommodation

The onsite accommodation assessment was preceded by:

The onsite accommodation assessment conducted by DSB AT Specialists consisted of:

Long-term systems of support initiated to foster independence:

Summary

The scope of the accommodations made to this jobsite was daunting, and would not have been possible without the assistance of a number of players acting as a team.

The primary role of the DSB AT staff was to act as facilitators for ensuring communications among all parties, for bringing the appropriate parties together for decision-making, and following up to ensure that agreed-to action items were completed in a timely manner. Our expertise required us to acknowledge the limits of our skills and to bring in the appropriate parties (AT vendor; employer IT Department; employer; employee/VR participant) at the appropriate stage of accommodation.

We needed to communicate the reality and breadth of workplace changes needed to be enacted in order to allow for accommodation, and to assuage fears and assure parties that change is possible, suggesting some potential change, and facilitating exchanges among the other parties in order to generate ideas for other means of accommodation.

For a successful accommodation, AT staff became the bridge that allowed the assorted parties to talk, understand each other, and agree toward actions. The key for this jobsite accommodation was to foster the various expertise and levels of authority into a unified team, working toward the same goal.


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