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Workbridge, Where abilities equal employment

Specialised Equipment

There is a wide range of specialised equipment which can help people with different conditions. Some examples include:

  • Computer mouse and other pointer devices can help people with musculoskeletal and/or mobility impairments. A wide range of alternatives are available to the traditional two-button mouse to enable people to hold their hand at a position which feels comfortable to them.
  • Voice recognition software. A number of different software packages are available to reduce the need for typing, which is useful for people with vision impairments, dyslexia and musculoskeletal impairments.
  • Tools and equipment. Ergonomic adjustments to grips may be available to improve the angle and reduce the force required. Where possible look at power assistance for tools.
  • Assistive technology such as spell check, and grammar and reading software, can help improve the quality of written work for people who have dyslexia. The option to change the background colour on a computer can also help.
  • Accessibility features within Microsoft or MacIntosh software enable text to be magnified or colour contrast to be changed.
  • An employee who has difficulty reading may find a tape recorder or dictation machine useful to use in remembering tasks and planning work. Voicemail rather than written memos may be helpful.
  • There is a wide range of equipment available to enable people with vision impairments to work effectively. These include
    • screen magnifiers or magnifying software
    • screen reading technology such as JAWS which converts text on the screen into speech. Alternatively an attachment called an Electronic Braille Display enables text to be converted to Braille
    • big button telephones or large print stickers for telephones or keyboards
    • scanners to convert printed text to the screen enabling it to be magnified or read aloud.
  • There is a wide range of equipment available to enable people with hearing impairments to work effectively. These include:
    • textphones which enable the person to type during a telephone call, either to another textphone or via the NZ Relay service to a hearing person
    • telephones with additional amplification
    • mobile phone SMS text messaging is widely used by people with hearing impairments and can be useful at work
    • video conferencing facilities which allow people to sign or lip read during meetings or calls
    • induction loops which magnify sound in an area for the use of people with hearing aids.
  • NZ Relay provides a service for people with hearing and speech impairments to make using the telephone easier.
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