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Memory Loss

Individuals with various disability types may experience memory deficits that can affect their ability to complete tasks, remember job duties, or recall daily actions or activities. Memory difficulties may be a limitation related to the condition itself, a side effect of medication, or only manifest periodically for episodic conditions. Accommodation ideas usually involve modifying the way one obtains, retains, and retrieves information.

  • Provide a voice-activated recorder to record verbal instructions
  • Provide written information and instructions
    • Post written or pictorial instructions on frequently used machines or for routine procedures (same thing — an example underneath written instruction to include pictorial instructions)
    • Provide templates or forms to prompt for needed information
    • Provide employee directory with pictures or use nametags and door/cubicle name markers to help employee remember coworkers' faces and names
    • Provide reminders of important deadlines via emails, memos, and weekly supervision
    • Provide printed minutes of meetings and trainings
    • Use sticky notes as reminders of important dates or tasks
  • Provide checklists
  • Prompt employee with verbal cues (reminders)
    • Encourage employee to ask (or email) work-related questions
  • Remove marginal job functions to allow more focus on essential functions
  • Use color-coding to indicate important information
    • Use a daily or weekly task list
  • Extend training time and training refreshers when significant workplace changes occur
  • Use a wall calendar or planner
    • Use notebooks or sticky notes to record information for easy retrieval
  • Use electronic organizers, hand held devices, and/or apps
  • Use a flowchart to describe the steps involved in a complicated task (such as powering up a system, closing down the facility, logging into a computer, etc.)
  • Provide a mentor for daily guidance
  • Safely and securely maintain paper lists of crucial information such as passwords


Some employees with various limitations may require additional, detail-oriented training to help them learn to do their job tasks or to enhance their knowledge of their duties. Due to difficulties with memory associated a condition or from medications taken, an employee might benefit from training refreshers, whether given in part of in full, extended time with a trainer, or the use of alternate materials.