2006 Conference General Sessions

ERGONOMIC PRINCIPALS AND ACCOMMODATING EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES

Presenter(s)

Sharon Terrell-Lindsay

Department of Defense

Computer/Electronic Accommodations Programs (CAP)

5111 Leesburg Pike Suite 810

Falls Church VA 22041

Day Phone: 703-681-8811 ext. 6019
Fax: 703-681-9075

Email: Sharon.terrell-lindsay@tma.osd.mil

 

Presenter #2

Jerome Lyons

Department of Defense

Computer/Electronic Accommodations Programs (CAP)

5111 Leesburg Pike Suite 810

Falls Church VA 22041

Day Phone: 703-681-8811
Fax: 703-681-9075

Jerome.lyons.ctr@tma.osd.mil

 

Changes in technology and the information environment present new challenges and
opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Computer/Electronic Accommodations
Program (CAP) works to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to the information environment and opportunities in the Department of Defense and throughout the Federal government. While CAP accommodates people with disabling conditions such as repetitive
stress injuries, we prefer to take a proactive approach to these issues by educating our customers on prevention of the repetitive stress injuries that can result from workstations that lack proper ergonomic configuration. As work related injuries continue to disable employees and decrease productivity, CAP’s Healthy Work Practices Program (HWPP) encourages preventative measures for a healthy workplace.

By focusing on this debilitating injury, the timeliness of this training will assist Federal managers and supervisors while dealing with growing ergonomic trends. The benefits of effective usage of ergonomic practices will assist in maintaining high levels of productivity, avoiding painful and costly employee injuries, and increasing worker satisfaction. As a result of designing the job around the person, employees will have a decreased risk of injury and an improved perception of their “employee-centered” role at work.

The Department of Defense established CAP in 1990 to eliminate employment barriers for
people with visual, hearing, dexterity and cognitive disabilities. CAP is the Federal government’s centrally funded accommodations program, providing assistive technology solutions at no cost to the requesting agency. Much of CAP’s success lies in the ability to provide reasonable accommodations to employees quickly and easily, which can increase employment and retention which ensures an accessible future for people with disabilities.[3ased on CAPs success, on Oct [Formatted; Font: Times 30. 2000, the program was granted additional funding and authorization to provide accommodations and services to all federal agencies. Currently CAP has 63 Partner agencies and has provided 46,t)0() accommodations since it’s inception in 1990.

Participant’s will learn about CAP’s HWPP which focuses on ergonomics and encourages recruitment, placement and retention of preventative measures for work-related musculoskeletal disorders such as tendonitis, as epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and back injuries resulting from a discrepancy between ergonomic disabilities. The physical capacity of workers and the demands of the job. These ergonomic related injuries continue to disable employees and decrease productivity. In an effort to combat this problem CAP offers practical solutions and accommodation services via education workshops, information dissemination, and accommodations for employees with dexterity disabilities.

CAP’s proactive approach to disability management includes support of Telework participants,
and Workers’ compensation claimants which allows agencies to retain or bring back to work
experienced people with disabilities by providing assistive technology and services to ensure
productivity. This presentation will also focus on CAP’s accommodation process and employment initiatives that encourage the recruitment, placement and retention of individuals with disabilities, as well as those who develop work related ergonomic disabilities.

The CAP program has provided over 950 accommodations for 217 Teleworkers with disabilities throughout the government. In Fiscal Year 2005, CAP provided over 169 accommodations to 54 Teleworkers with disabilities at 25 different departments and agencies in 20 states and the District of Columbia. By teaming with Workers’ Compensation officials, CAP assists Workers’ Compensation claimants in their return-to-work process by providing over 1,900
accommodations. Utilizing case reviews and a needs assessment process, the employees find unique methods of working in a revised, safer, and more productive environment, CAP provided these employees with 3 13 accommodations in FY05 to ensure their continuation as active members of the workforce. The CAP partnership offers employees and supervisors assistance in addressing this crowing health concern.

To assist individuals in preventative measures, CAP provides:
* Basic ergonomic training
* Presentations
* Ergonomic evaluations and
* The Workplace Ergonomics Reference Guide:

The HWPP’s commitment is to promote prevention and to combat injuries that occur within the workplace through the provision of assistive technology.

To accommodate persons with dexterity disabilities CAP provides:
* alternative keyboards and pointing devices
* keyboard trays, document holders, wrist rests; and
* word prediction software and speech recognition software.

For DoD Workers’ Compensation claimants with a Department of Labor Acceptance Letter for
neck, back, or other severe disabilities, CAP provides:
* ergonomic chairs

To assist a Telework participant who has a disability, Teleworks’ as a form of reasonable
accommodation, and an agreement with their agency, CAP provides:
* computer equipment including a personal computer, printer and/or fax machine.

In addition to learning about the HWPP, participants will learn how CAP works with Federal agencies to help ensure inclusion and productivity for employees with disabilities. CAP is providing assistance to agencies by:
* purchasing assistive technology and services
* conducting needs assessments to identify appropriate assistive technology
* assisting in technology integration

* providing training on how to use assistive technology

* advising agencies about creating accessible electronic environments

* assisting in accommodating work-related injuries, supports workers’ compensation claimants and telework participants

* assist in the recruitment, placement, promotion, and retention of people with disabilities and Wounded Service Members

* conducting presentations about CAP services and other accessibility issues


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