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Ergonomic Solutions for Employment

Ergonomic Solutions for Employment for People with Mobility Limitations

The employment rate of people with disabilities is much lower than for people without disabilities. Some individuals with impairments and limitations are employed while others with similar conditions and functional capacities are not in the work force. The University of Michigan RERC on ergonomics is concerned with developing methods for identifying and eliminating physical work place barriers through the use of new work equipment, tools or procedures. These procedures can assist employers and people with disabilities to understand job requirements and identify ergonomic interventions or assistive technology that may address a gap between job requirements and worker abilities.

Further research needs to be completed to investigate the factors (including personal attendants, assistive technology, ergonomic interventions and environmental modifications) that have been involved in successful work situations for people with disabilities. Once these factors are identified, programs, such as state vocational rehabilitation programs, may be able to utilize the information to make services more effective.

The purpose of this project is to identify people with mobility impairments and limitations that are employed and describe their work related activities, general quality of participation in major life activities and general health condition. Strategies will be identified to determine how they perform the essential (key) elements of their work using different behaviors, assistive technologies, personal assistance, built environment features and work accommodations. Additionally, a job bank will be created to provide videotapes of individuals with disabilities successfully performing essential aspects of their job. This project is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Michigan.