In the summer of 2012 a couple of chronic medical conditions that Tina was experiencing began to develop to the point where she was going to need some sort of workplace accommodation to allow her to continue to work full time without further deterioration. As an ergonomic assessor who trained others to conduct basic workstation assessments, Tina had a fair idea of some of the accommodations she would likely need. However, since it’s always best not to diagnose oneself, her supervisor contacted the Neil Squire Society’s Solutions Program to request a Workstation Assistive Technology Assessment be conducted to determine how best to accommodate her needs in her current work environment.
Brook Davies, an Adaptive Technology Specialist (new window) & Kinesiologist (new window) with the Neil Squire Society (new window) in Regina (new window), booked an assessment time with Tina in the early part of August. “I appreciated how thorough Brook was with my assessment, picking up on some key recommendations I would have missed on my own. I also appreciated being able to trial several items before requesting a purchase of these items through my employer, to make sure these items were providing the assistance I was needing,” says Tina. “I appreciated the persistence and patience Brook demonstrated, trying out various items before we settled on what was best to recommend in the end. I felt cared for and appreciated the patience with which I was treated as well as the practical help I was given.”
At the end of August, the Neil Squire Society (new window) submitted a written report to Tina’s supervisor of the assessment conducted along with several recommendations. Topics covered in this report included Employment Information, Employee Information, Barriers to Employment, Workstation accommodations, Assistive Technology Recommendations, and Conclusions.
Even after the report was issued, Brook continued to work with Tina to provide various items as loaners, until the recommended items could be purchased. “I appreciated having tools to use immediately which brought about improvement in my conditions much more quickly than would have happened had I needed to wait until the recommended items arrived. This allowed me to avoid unnecessary deterioration due to the slow procurement process which sometimes happens in a government environment. Being able to borrow these items in the interim was something I considered over and above what I would have expected the Neil Squire Society to provide,” says Tina.
Some of the recommendations eventually led to a move of Tina’s office as well as over time a change in her work duties, “both of which have made a positive difference in my symptoms,” Tina shares. “Without these changes being made, it is likely I would have had to reduce my work hours or possibly have ended up on full time disability. Due to the nature of my chronic conditions, this may eventually happen at a future date, but I’m convinced the changes made back in the summer of 2012 have allowed me to maintain full time hours much longer than I would have dreamed possible.” Tina now has hope that she will manage to work full time right up until the usual retirement age of 65, “which I could not previously have hoped for.”
“If you have staff who are in need of accommodation, I can think of no better agency to turn to for practical and quality advice,” says Tina.