Karen Has More Energy to Focus on Her Job Thanks to Assistive Technology

December 9, 2020

Karen started a part-time job as an administrator at her church in Vancouver. She oversees office duties, like replying to emails, answering the phones, organizing weekly worship services, and coordinating the weekly newsletter. She also deals with the different rental users of the building.

Karen using her setup while workingHowever, her workday is made harder by her disability. Since birth, Karen has lived with spastic diplegia (new window), a form of cerebral palsy (new window), which affects her speech, coordination, muscle dexterity, balance, and mobility.

“I also live with scoliosis (new window) which has created more curvature in my back over the years. For mobility, I use a walker just to maintain my energy and alleviate the stiffness and spasticity in my legs. Due to this, it has affected my functional limitations for me to fulfill the tasks of work,” she explains.

She also does independent consultant work within the accessibility and inclusion field, and through this work, she learned about WorkBC Assistive Technology Services. She applied and was pleased with the results.

“The assistive technology program assisted with several accommodations for me to fulfill my tasks at work. It provided me with a customized seat to assist me to sit up straighter to alleviate the pain in my back. Having cerebral palsy causes more stress on my body as we age, thus I also experience chronic pain throughout my legs and back,” she says.

Karen also received a computer tray, a specialized computer mouse to minimize shakiness, a keyboard with spaced out keys, and a word prediction software, WordQ (new window).

With the new accommodations, Karen finds that she has much more energy to focus on her job.
Karen's setup; she is seated at her desk and using her mouse

“I spend less concentration to try to control my lack of dexterity level, and more energy doing my job to the highest performance,” she explains. “My customized chair has made so much difference in my life. Without the proper supports on the sides, I was so tired at the end of the day and my back suffered. Now, I am sitting up straighter and I feel so much more supported.”

She recommends the WorkBC Assistive Technology Services program to others in need.

“The assistive technology program really worked with me to ensure that I was well-supported to do my job well,” Karen shares.

“Living with a disability, I feel like I am always trying to keep up with everything, because I am used to putting in double the effort to do the same tasks as everyone else. With these supports, it makes work more equitable so that people with disabilities can participate in the workforce.”

WorkBC Assistive Technology Services is operated by Neil Squire. Assistive Technology Services are available to individuals who have a work-related barrier due to a disability or a functional limitation. This may include barriers related to traveling to and from the workplace.

Questions about WorkBC Assistive Technology Services? Need help applying? Contact us: 1-844-453-5506 or info-ats@workbc.ca

Please visit www.workbc-ats.ca (new window) for more information about WorkBC Assistive Technology Services.

 Government of Canada and BC logos, This program is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia