Adjustments to equipment or the workplace
Assistive technologies, selection of venues for events, workspace modifications or equipment.
Adjustments in equipment can help people with a disability perform their job with greater efficiency. For example, providing:
- email and text messaging access for a hearing impaired employee
- a recording device to take messages for some physically or sight impaired people
- computer software such as voice recognition or a speech synthesiser.
Altering the physical layout of the office or work site may be necessary to provide a work environment that enables an employee to perform their duties effectively. Adjustments to the design of the work area might require, for example, lowering or raising desks, relocating filing cabinets and adjusting lighting to provide ease of access. Acoustic tiles might need to be installed to minimise distracting noise for people with visual and hearing impairments.
Some inexpensive adjustments your agency can make are:
- contrasting the colours used on internal steps
- providing non-slip floor surfaces, particularly in the foyer entry
- removing cords or hanging plants
- marking lift buttons with tactile surfaces, and
- providing a tactile map of the layout of the office
The impact of most of these adjustments is to make a better workplace for all employees, not just for those with a disability.
Assistive Technology and Equipment Program
Assistive Technology and Equipment Program (ATEP) is a NSW government initiative to provide funding for assistive technology or other appropriate equipment for people with a disability employed in the NSW public sector or entering or seeking to enter the NSW public sector that will enhance and expand their opportunities to fully participate in vocational training, employment and career development and seeking equipment over the value of $750.
ATEP is not intended to replace an employer's responsibility to provide reasonable adjustments.
For further information: email ATEP@det.nsw.edu.au or telephone (02) 9244 5478 or (02) 4570 9025.
JobAccess and the Employment Assistance Fund
Job Access provides funding assistance and advice for provision of workplace adjustments to accommodate a worker with disability. Advice is available from JobAccess a one stop information site with a dedicated section providing information and advice for employers and people with a disability.
The Employment Assistance Fund may reimburse the costs involved in modifying the workplace or purchasing special or adaptive equipment for eligible employees with disability. It is also available to existing employees if they have had a change in duties, career progression, change in disability and/or a new modification becomes available that would increase their productivity.
There is no restriction to the types of modifications that can be approved under the Scheme, as long as each application meets the eligibility criteria. The Employment Assistance Fund Guidelines provide examples of workplace modifications and adjustments. As assistance is specific to the needs of the particular job and employee with disability, items not included in the guidelines will also be considered for reimbursement.
For more information go to the Employment Assistance Fund website or contact JobAccess Advisers on 1800 464 800.