If you feel that the type of work you do is affected by a disability or health condition that is likely to last for 12 months or longer, you may be able to receive help. This section provides information and resources to incresase access and support in the workplace.
At Assist-I.T. our aim is to promote increased access and better health within the workplace, particularly where computing and I.T. is involved.
If you are using a computer on a daily basis, particularly if you are using a standard keyboard and mouse for long periods of time you may experience discomfort in your hands, wrists and upper body, e.g., shoulder and neck area.
In some circumstances you may also find that your eyes become sore or you experience headaches when looking at your monitor.
This section is dedicated to improving your workplace environment and to help you make adjustments to your computer to alleviate discomfort and/or pain which can be caused by standard computing equipment and/or poor posture, seats and desks.
We have provided a number of guides as well as hints and tips that will help make your working environment more comfortable, particularly if you suffer from a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
Additionally, If you have difficulties reading large amounts of text or with
spelling or have a dyslexia related difficulty, we can help.
Features in this section:
Access to Work can help you and your employer.
Access to Work (AtW) is part of Job Centre Plus and is available to help overcome the problems resulting from disability. Access to Work can provide you with the advice and practical support you need to make the most of your opportunities. The scheme could help if you have a disability and are about to start work, including self employment, or are already in a job.
Access to Work provides flexible packages of help and support that can be tailored to meet your individual needs - from adapting work premises to having a support worker.
If you have a disability, you may find that the practical obstacles you meet at work are getting in the way of you making the most of your opportunities. Access to Work is designed to help you and your employer find practical solutions to remove any obstacles.
Know your Rights!
Access issues have become increasingly relevant with the advent of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and increasing public awareness of the relevance of accessibility, particularly in computing and I.T.
The DDA makes it illegal to unreasonably discriminate against existing and potential employees on the basis of their ‘disability’, and employers are charged with a duty to make ‘reasonable accommodations’ in the employment of people with disabilities.
The links below provide valuable information about the DDA, your workplace and where you can get help to support to enable you or your employer to accommodate your needs and make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so you can do your job more confidently, independently and pain free.
What is the Employers Forum?
The Employers' Forum on Disability is the employers' organisation focused on the issue of disability in the workplace. It is funded and managed by employers. With over 375 members, the Forum represents organisations who employ over 20% of the UK workforce.
The Forum is recognised as the authoritative voice on disability as it affects employers and service providers.
Did you know that RSI, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis can be caused by repetaitive tasks such as typing?
A repetitive strain injury (RSI), sometimes called a repetitive stress injury, is an injury to tendons, nerves or other soft tissue resulting from consistently repeating a movement that strains an isolated portion of the body. RSI most commonly affect the hands, wrists and arms.
Employers whose staff develop RSI conditions as a result of work face a range of costs, some evident, others hidden. These include, loss of production, poor worker morale, sickness payments for those unable to work 'presenteeism' - staff at work when they are not fit to be there, but are afraid to be absent as well as ill-health retirement costs for those permanently unable to work.
AbilityNet release CD Rom: advice, tips and hints on making your office enviroment safer
This CD is designed to be easy for anyone to use: photos show people in everyday office circumstances, with bullet-point guides and pictures demonstrating what to avoid and what to encourage.
The CD Rom is designed to support smaller companies with high quality advice
at low cost but larger organisations can also use it as an intranet resource
to complement their Occupational Health Services.The CD Rom is fully accessible,
working through the users standard browser.
To find out more and order a copy of 'The Very Best of CD Office Sense' select this link
A brief overview
Employers have a duty to provide safe working conditions and stress-free work environment for all staff, which includes the provision of information and training for employees about workplace posture and ergonomics. Poor posture at work is a major cause of back pain, workplace stress, repetitive strain injury, resulting in lost time, reduced productivity, poor employee health, low morale, and higher costs.
This free theory article is provided by Hugh Babington Smith of the UK Etcom Postural Ergonomics Ltd company. Applying these simple workplace posture and ergonomics techniques and principles will improve the working environment and well-being of staff.
A recent study by Microsoft’s Accessible Technology Group found that 57% of computer users in the United States are likely to benefit from the use of accessible technology due to experiencing mild to severe difficulties or impairments.
According to Rob Sinclair, director of the Accessible Technology Group, '57 million computer users in the U.S. utilise some form of accessible technology. That number is expected to rise to 70 million in the U.S. by 2010.' A similar trend can also be expected in the UK over the next 10 years.