Since receiving support from the WorkBC Assistive Technology Services program, Rhiannon’s life has changed a lot.
“I have money in my savings account for the first time in five years, I have more money for healthcare treatments, and am able to pay student loans without struggling every month,” she explains.
“Before these supports [from Assistive Technology Services], I struggled to work at a computer for two to four hours, even with breaks, and would always have lasting pain and fatigue that left me unable to do almost anything afterwards.”
Rhiannon works as a research assistant in Burnaby. She suffers from a number of conditions, including myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and celiac disease.
“My medical conditions have a significant impact on my ability to function. To work at a desk, I need an ergonomic chair and ergonomic computer hardware, as well as a mic to use speech-to-text software for when my hands are in too much pain to type. I have to take frequent movement breaks to stretch and generally keep muscles all over my body from seizing up or spasming. I need to be careful with how I schedule my day so that I reduce the risk of burnout,” she says.
Through GT Hiring Solutions, Rhiannon found out about Neil Squire and the WorkBC Assistive Technology Services program.
As part of the program, she got a workplace occupational therapy assessment.
“That was incredibly useful,” she says. “I was able to try multiple devices to determine what worked best for me — before this, I had to spend my own money to try a device to see if it didn’t hurt me — and received recommendations for supports I didn’t even think I needed but have made a world of difference.”
She received an ergonomic chair, vertical mouse, a tented keyboard, a soft touch number pad, and a keyboard tray.
“I also didn’t have to pay out of my own pocket to then receive these supports, which was incredible, because I simply couldn’t afford them.”
The difference has been incredible. Since joining the program, Rhiannon has gone from a part-time job to full-time work with some volunteering on the side.
She sometimes even feels up to playing computer games after a day of work — something she used to love doing, but was unimaginable while she was struggling with pain from work.
“Now, not only can I work for longer hours, I am more likely to be OK to do other chores — like cooking or laundry — and perhaps even do non-work related tasks at my computer because my hips and hands can handle it.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit www.workbc-ats.ca (new window) for more information about WorkBC Assistive Technology Services.