A variety of impairments may affect an employee’s ability to concentrate. Decreased concentration can be caused by auditory distractions (that can be heard) and/or visual distractions (that can be seen).
The use of basic learning techniques, such as conditioning, biofeedback, reinforcement, or aversion therapy, to alter human behavior. A form of psychotherapy that uses basic learning techniques to modify maladaptive behavior patterns by substituting new responses to given stimuli for undesirable ones. Also called behavioral therapy and/or behavior modification.
Electronic organizers are electronic devices, such as PDA's, that allow an individual to download important information such as names, phone numbers, email address and dates. They might have alarms/cues that will remind the individual of datelines, meetings, and so on.
Environmental Sound Machines / Tinnitus Maskers / White Noise Machines
Environmental sound machines, also known as sound conditioners, help block out extraneous noises that are often found to be distracting. They can also be used to reduce stress in the work environment. Devices can include those that create persistent masking sound to relieve stress from tinnitus and otherwise drown out unwanted sounds.
Employees who experience limitations in concentration may need a flexible schedule in order to work optimally during hours of increased attentiveness. Flexible schedules can also be used to have a period of mental rest in order to refocus and reorient into his/her work. Examples of a flexible schedule would be adjusting starting and ending times of the workday, combining regularly scheduled breaks to create one extended break or dividing large breaks into smaller segments, and allowing work to be completed during hours when the employee is most mentally alert.
Job coaches are individuals who specialize in assisting individuals with disabilities to learn and accurately carry out job duties. Job coaches provide one-on-one training tailored to the needs of the employee. They may first do a job analysis to identify the job duties, followed by developing a specific plan as to how they can best train the employee to work more and more on his/her own until completely self-sufficient and able to perform job duties accurately and effectively without assistance.
Some employees can benefit from taking their breaks at a different rate than what may be considered standard by their employer to accomodate certain conditions, symptoms and habits they have in order to perform their job at their optimal level.
Noise Canceling Headsets
Noise canceling headsets and headphones designed for listening tasks use a combination of passive soundproofing and type of technology called active noise control to reduce exposure to unwanted background noise and improve the signal to noise ration when listening to music or another sound source through the headset. Headphones and headsets of this type usually have a small battery door built into one of the ear cups.
When purchasing a noise canceling headset, be sure that you are purchasing the correct type for the task at hand. Some headsets that are advertised as having noise canceling microphones are intended for speaking rather than listening tasks. These only have noise cancellation in the microphone portion of the headset and do not have a battery on the ear cup.
Most noise that is transmitted through a wall from one side to the other is airborne; this includes sounds made by TVs, stereos, voices and loud music, especially bass. This noise can be quite loud if the sound source is close to the wall. By soundproofing the party or common wall, the sound produced on your side will stay on your side and little or no noise from the other side will pass through. You can achieve wall soundproofing by installing our noise blocking products for walls. Another common noise problem is absorbing sound and reducing echo or reverberation within a room. You can achieve an acoustically enhanced room by installing our sound absorbing products for walls to improve acoustics.
Telework, within certain fields, can be an excellent alternative for employees who have conditions that make it difficult for them to leave their home or reliably travel to a place of work. Employers should consider if a job can be made compatible with telework for their employees and communicate their expectations and requirement for the job to be performed out of home. Allowing work from home during worksite or office construction; extremely hot, cold, or inclement weather; or parking renovations could be a reasonable accommodation.
Redesigning a worksite as an accommodation can include moving a workstation closer to a break room, restroom, office equipment, or employee parking lot; duplicating work materials in a workspace; teleconferencing into meetings; having others report to the employee physically; or communicating in an alternative way (instant messaging, pager, texting, or telephone).
Modifying a workspace for an employee who experiences limitations in concentration can help limit or even eliminate both auditory and visual distractions. These modifications can include relocating employees to private area away from high traffic areas, reducing clutter in the employee’s work environment, redesigning an employee’s workspace to minimize visual distractions, and providing higher cubicle walls and/or cubicle doors.
Some individuals benefit from having directions and other instructions provided in writing. Example of this would include communicating through email when possible, providing transcripts of meetings, using agendas for trainings, and having checklists for tasks that need completed.