Step 4: Choose the Accommodation
Moving, Carrying, or Lifting Materials or People
- Moving, carrying, or lifting children: An individual with a lifting limitation who works with children may have difficulty moving, carrying, or lifting them safely. Individuals should use proper lifting techniques and lift in teams when appropriate. Other considerations include making equipment and tables waist-level to those who work in the environment, e.g., adjustable changing tables, walk-up changing tables. Equipment such as multi-seat carriages to transport children in large groups is also useful.
- Moving, carrying, or lifting patients: Lifting and transferring patients are difficult for individuals with certain impairments. Manipulating extremities and positioning individuals for activities of daily living or physical therapy are also difficult. Proper lifting techniques; lowering adjustable exam tables and equipment (low-lipped showers); ergonomic layouts for equipment (cranks and handles on beds and carts) and supplies (storing items at waist height, lowering bed rails when attending to patient needs, etc.); and team lifting are beneficial administrative changes. Other accommodations include:
- Maintaining carts that carry monitoring devices and IVs and maintaining wheelchairs so that brakes and wheels are properly adjusted;
- Using mechanical lifts that are total body, stand-assist, ambulation, or bath and shower;
- Using compact lifts when transporting patients outside of a medical or housing facility;
- Assisting transfer aids;
- Purchasing pivot disks, range of motion machines, transfer and gait belts, and lift chairs and seats to assist with positioning and manipulating;
- Assisting individuals with daily living activities by using toileting, eating, and general independent living products; and
- Using other equipment such as toilet seat risers, bath chairs, long-handled scrub brushes and shower heads, and bath boards.
- Moving, carrying, or lifting office or retail materials or service goods: Moving equipment and products around an office or retail setting typically requires compact lifting devices. These devices are often light-weight and can be maneuvered in tight spaces. Flooring that is not a deep push carpet helps to decrease moving resistance. Casters to fit the flooring (concrete, carpet, linoleum, wood, etc.) also decrease this resistance. Properly placed equipment that is stored in accessible shelving, which allows individuals to lift products from waist height, is useful. Carts (e.g., motorized, general purpose), adjustable lift tables, step stools, stairclimbing hand trucks, and tote boxes are helpful.
- Moving, carrying, or lifting agricultural and farming items: Lifting, carrying, and moving farm and agricultural items can involve heavy, strenuous tasks. Mobile cranes, powered lift gates, and powered carts designed for outdoor use can help with these tasks. The AgrAbility Project was created to assist farmers, ranchers and farmworkers with disabilities remain employed in agriculture and to provide practical education and assistance that promotes independence in agricultural production and rural living. The National AgrAbility Project has a database of close to a 1000 agricultural assistive technology products and adds new devices as recommended by state projects and farmers. It also provides information about the 25 state and regional projects who work with farmers or ranchers with disabling conditions. Breaking New Ground is one of the 25 state projects. Breaking New Ground is an organization dedicated to helping farmers and ranchers with disabilities create accommodations. Agricultural accommodation suggestions are developed through the research and other efforts of talented farmers and ranchers with disabilities.
- Moving, carrying, or lifting industrial products: Working in an industrial environment often calls for material handing devices that lift, move, and carry products of all shapes and sizes. Some products require specific lifting devices. Drum-handling equipment is one example. Often workers in industrial environment must use tools. Tool balancers and lightweight ergonomic tools help decrease strain from lifting. Some environments, however, use one or more of the following types of devices to either prevent back injuries or accommodate employees with lifting limitations:
- Movers and Lifters