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Scenarios and Solutions

Leading by example

Below are examples of accommodations that have been made for qualified workers with disabilities. These are samples only and are not necessarily the only solution to the stated problem; a different worker with a disability facing a similar situation might require a different solution.

Scenario

A teacher with a hearing loss had difficulties hearing the students’ voices over the squeaks of chairs and desks moving over the linoleum floor. Also, the teacher could not see some of the students’ faces and therefore could not effectively lip-read.

Solution

To eliminate noise, used tennis balls were cut and attached to the feet of the chairs and desks. The teacher rearranged the desks in a horseshoe in order to see the faces of all students.

Cost: $0 – The tennis balls were donated by an avid tennis player who would have thrown them away.

 

Scenario

A new restaurant employee who has significant vision loss used a guide dog to accompany her to and from work. Once at work, the employee did not need the dog while she performed her job duties.

Solution

A dog crate was placed in a back office with a clear path of travel in and out of the facility. The dog is crated during the workday out of contact with food products or supplies used by the restaurant.

Cost: Under $100.

 



Scenario

A company vice president with arthritis had difficulty maintaining stamina during the workday.

Solution

The employer provided flexibility in the vice president’s work hours and a recliner for her office so that she can change body positions to cut down on fatigue.

Cost: $75

 


Scenario

A sewing machine operator experienced grand mal seizures and requested accommodation based on safety issues.

Solution

The sewing machine was relocated so that if the individual had a seizure, she would not fall onto the machine or other potentially harmful objects. In addition, a local epilepsy affiliate provided education to the staff on seizures and first aid.

Cost: $0

 


Scenario

A saw operator with a learning disability had difficulty measuring to a fraction of an inch.

Solution

The employee was provided with a wallet-sized card on which the fractions were listed on an enlarged picture of an inch. This allows the employee to compare the card with the location on the ruler to identify the correct fraction.

Cost: $5

 

Scenario

A worker with polycystic renal (kidney) disease is a senior technician who is responsible for preparing samples for testing. The employee requires continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), four times daily with one exchange during work hours.

Solution

Space was made available in the dispensary for the employee to perform CAPD while at work. Storage space was also provided for extra supplies to be used in case of bad weather necessitating a second exchange at work.

Cost: $0

 

Scenario

An experienced electronics equipment inspector paralyzed from the waist down needed rapid mobility around the plant to perform tasks related to using precision equipment and assembly inspection.

Solution

A heavy motorized wheelchair was stored on the premises overnight for his use in the plant. The employee uses his lightweight chair for travel. The bins containing items to be inspected were lowered, and a lapboard was provided for his specification books.

Cost: Less than $200.

 

Scenario

Due to hot weather conditions, a worker with asthma was having difficulty working outside fueling airplanes and moving luggage.

Solution

The employer moved the individual to the midnight shift and to a position where the worker is both inside and outside the facility.

Cost: $0

 

Scenario

A part-time college instructor with Asperger’s Syndrome was experiencing auditory discrimination difficulties that prevented her from being able to make immediate decisions. This caused problems for her during meetings and annual evaluations and prevented her from meeting time lines for projects.

Solution

The employee is permitted to take notes during staff meetings and to provide written responses to all attendees on the questions raised during meetings within a time frame agreed upon by the meeting participants. The employee also receives a copy of meeting agendas, annual evaluations, and project expectations in advance of the face-to-face meetings and is thereby able to ask questions or provide follow-up responses in writing.

Cost: $0

 

Scenario

A teacher with bipolar disorder, who works in a home-based instruction program, experienced reduced concentration and short-term memory and task sequencing problems.

Solution

The employee and the supervisor developed a checklist that showed the week’s work and the following week’s activities. Forms were adapted so that they were easy to complete and structured steps were developed so that paperwork could be completed at the end of each teaching session.

Cost: $0
1

Footnotes

  1. Source: Excerpted from: “Employer Toolkit”, Creative Workforce Solutions, Vermont, U.S., p. 40 – 47 http://www.cwsvt.com/media/CWS-Employer-Toolkit.pdf
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