Working with the Disabled Using Adaptive Technology Solutions

Disabled Person at Work Most disabled people have learned skills to help them cope with their limitations. Many know nothing else, so a disabled person can become more independent and productive with just a little help. Adaptive technology solutions can help level the playing field for a disabled person at home, in public, in school, and at work. It does not really take much. It can be as simple as using larger letters in labels.

As such, all US employers have to offer “reasonable accommodation” for disabled workers. It is part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Of course, the disabled person still has to be competent in the work involved, says, and accommodating the disability should not result in undue hardship to the company.

Here is an overview.

Types of Disabilities

The kind of adaptive technology (AT) that you as an employer need in the workplace will depend on the disability. Many types are available for one or more of the following disabilities:

  • Impaired vision
  • Impaired hearing
  • Speech impediments
  • Mobility issues
  • Learning disabilities
  • Neurological problems
Types of AT

To address the different types of disabilities, you can choose among these general types of technology. These are:

  • Visual aids
  • Hearing assistance
  • Physical access tools
  • Mobility aids
  • Ergonomic gear
  • Environmental tools
Making Choices

AT solutions can be as simple and sophisticated as you want. In order to choose the best value for your investment, you need to find out exactly what you need for your given situation. In some cases, you might have to spend quite a bit. However, you can usually get some of it back from the government. Small businesses can claim tax credits for AT-related expenses. This can be an ADA tax credit, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, or Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit.

Your disabled workers can reach their full potential if you give them what they need. The investment in AT will be worth it on so many levels in the end.

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