Maintaining the ability to participate in work or work related activities can be an important part of meeting life values and desires, developing and maintaining social relationships, acquiring new skills and knowledge, and facilitating positive influences on well-being and mental health.
Using assistive technologies or modifying the work environment or tasks can facilitate a person’s return to work, enable a person to remain at work for longer, or allow them to take on new tasks. Additionally, it may generally increase one’s comfort and job satisfaction as well as ensuring that future risk of injury is prevented. Areas to consider include the task, the workstation or environment, and access to common areas in and throughout the workplace.
Health professionals from the Independent Living Centre’s are specialists in this area and can assist you with determining the options available that would best suit your goals and needs.
Common Assistive Technology Options
A range of workstation equipment options are available to maximise comfort and productivity while preventing injury for all persons, regardless of injury or disability. These including height adjustable desks, ergonomic office chairs, monitor supports, forearm supports, document holders, footrests, alternative keyboards and alternative mice.
Since a lot of office work is spent seated at a workstation, it is important to make sure that the selection, set-up, and use of workstations, equipment and furniture is hazard-free and appropriate for the task or tasks being done. A well-designed workstation considers the tasks, required equipment, as well as the individual physical characteristics and needs of the person. Assistance in the selection and set up of office equipment to maximise efficiency and safety can be provided by professionals including Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Ergonomists who specialise in this area.
You can search some of these options by visiting the Office Workplace and School section of the product database.
Manual Handling Options
Trolleys and other lifting devices with multi position height adjustment are available to assist in transportation of equipment around the workplace. Platform heights, sizes and lifting capacities and styles will vary between models.
Different styles of long handled tools are available to reduce twisting, bending and reaching in the workplace. These tools may be useful for work activities such as gardening and cleaning.
Sometimes modifications to the physical environment is required to ensure one can use all the areas they require to complete the tasks at hand as well as complete personal tasks and activities throughout the day. Hence, the whole working day needs to be considered and should include areas such as access to the building, the workstation, lighting and acoustics, and general areas such as the bathroom, kitchen and parking areas. There may be additional design and building regulations that need to be complied with, so it is important you speak to a professional in this area before you make any modifications to the workplace.
You can search some of these options by visiting the Design & Building for Access & Safety section of the product database.
Software and Computer Technologies
There are a number of options that can improve the way you use your computer, mouse or keyboard. This can include options such as screen magnification software, screen reading software and voice to text software programs.
Funding to assist with workplace modifications and equipment to assist with return to work varies from State to State. Please contact us to discuss your options.