Accommodation Ideas for Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. GBS can affect anybody but is rare, affecting only about one person in 100,000. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs, which can later spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until certain muscles cannot be used at all and, when severe, the person is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases the disorder is life threatening and is considered a medical emergency. Most individuals, however, have good recovery from even the most severe cases of GBS, although some continue to have a certain degree of weakness. From: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/gbs/detail_gbs.htm
Accommodation ideas for individuals with GBS:
- Managing fatigue or muscle weakness: An individual with GBS may benefit from a flexible work schedule, liberal use of leave time, being allowed to work from home, a reduction or elimination of physical exertion and workplace stress, scheduled rest breaks away from the workstation, and ergonomic workstation design. Ergonomic equipment, adjustable workstations (office and industrial), and supine workstations may also be useful.
- Impairment of the use of the legs and feet: A wheelchair or scooter may accommodate individuals who have difficulty moving around a workplace. For building access, accessible parking, ramps, stair and chair lifts, and elevators are helpful. Implementing appropriate emergency evacuation procedures may also be a benefit. Stand-lean stools and anti-fatigue matting may assist with relieving fatigue for individuals who have to stand for long periods.
- Impairment of the hands and fingers: For computer access, speech recognition, alternative input devices, one-handed keyboards, alternative keyboards, expanded keyboards, alternative mice, and miniature keyboards can help. Writing aids; alternative telephone access; filing modifications such as modified filing trays, Lazy-Susan carousels, and automated filing systems; reachers; page turners; and book holders may also be helpful. For access to tools, ergonomic tools, tool balancers, and anti-vibration wraps and gloves will often help increase gripping ability. For assistance with lifting, compact lifting devices, lift tables, and vacuum lifts are often used. For driving, steering grips or hand controls may be useful.
- Commuting to and from work: Possible solutions include allowing a flexible or modified schedule to access public transportation, allowing work at home, and a transfer to office closer to home.
- Difficulty performing activities of daily living: Eating aids, grooming aids, and other independent living aids may help.