Accommodation Ideas for Spina Bifida
Spina bifida is the most frequently occurring permanent birth defect. It affects approximately one out of every 1,000 newborns in the United States. It results from the failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. In severe cases, the spinal cord protrudes through the back and may be covered by skin or a thin membrane. From: http://www.sbaa.org.
Accommodation ideas for individuals with Spina Bifida:
- Bowel and/or Bladder Impairments: An individual with spina bifida may benefit from a flexible work schedule, frequent restroom breaks throughout the work day, moving the workstation closer to the restroom, or working at home.
- Lifting: Accommodations for lifting limitations vary depending on the situation. Accommodations may include assistance with lifting, lifting devices, or a transfer to another job that does not require lifting.
- Impairment of the Use of the Arms and Legs: A wheelchair or scooter may accommodate individuals who have difficulty moving around a workplace. Adjustable workstations for office and industrial settings also help individuals convert standing areas to sitting workstations or visa versa. For building access, accessible parking, ramps, stair and wheelchair lifts, and elevators are helpful. Implementing appropriate emergency evacuation procedures may also be beneficial.
- Manipulating Office Equipment: An individual with spina bifida may have difficulty manipulating blinds, accessing a telephone, and using a keyboard. Remote-controlled blinds are alternatives for manipulating blinds. Large button telephones and voice activated databases can assist with telephone access. Speech recognition, alternative input devices, one-handed keyboards, expanded keyboards, and miniature keyboards are alternatives to using a standard keyboard. Page turners and book holders can help with manipulating paperwork and binders, and writing and gripping aids eliminate the need for extended periods of grasping. Certain filing modifications may also useful.
- Low Vision: An individual with a spina bifida may have low vision. For information on accommodations for individuals with vision impairments, visit SOAR's Accommodations for Vision Impairments or JAN's general publication on Work-site Accommodation Ideas for Individuals with Vision Impairments.
- Use of a Wheelchair: Some individuals with spina bifida use wheelchairs and the limitations and accommodations vary. For accommodations for individuals who use wheelchairs, visit SOAR's Accommodations for Wheelchair Use or JAN's general publication on Work-site Accommodation Ideas for Office Workers who Use Wheelchairs.