Sometimes, I think people are not aware that I can perform most projects as well as anyone else can, only differently. Walking is not my mode of mobility, but I still get to where I need to go just the same via a wheelchair. When driving a car, I may not put my foot on the pedal to go faster, but I do accelerate by operating the pedal with hand controls. At work, the same can be said about the way I complete a project or task. I may not go about it the same way other workers might, but I achieve the same results with the same high-quality standard.
There are several adaptive technologies available in the workplace that can give a person with a disability the “A-bility” to complete projects. According to the United States Assistive Technology Act of 1998, adaptive technology is any “product, device, or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is used to maintain, increase, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”
For instance, a person using a wheelchair can work for the same company as anyone else, just using a desk that is not adjusted too high. Text Telephones (TTY) or Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) can be used to assist in communicating for those with hearing impairments, allowing anyone with this disability to work alongside those who can hear. Other examples of technical aids include Screen Readers that read the screen on a computer (for vision impairment), and printers that print out text for those with sloppy handwriting, like me.
The good news is that there are special tools available to help challenged individuals complete work projects. The overall objective is to focus on the finished product, as opposed to “how” someone performs the task. The important thing for any worker is to ask himself or herself —
- Do my objectives for the project correlate to the overall mission of the company or
department I work for?
- Have my objectives been met?
- Is there room for improvement?
- Does my project or task meet high-quality standards?
Answer these questions, take advantage of the technologies if needed, and you will find you have the A-bility to complete any task and achieve high-quality results.
For more information on adaptive technology, please see the following websites:
Job Accommodation Network (JAN):
Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN):
David Spears is a member of the Workforce Solutions Navigator team for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Combining training and education to real world examples, David brings personal and professional experience with disabilities to the table in order to help job seekers with disabilities realize their potential. David has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with over 20 years of experience in the business world.