Accommodation Ideas for Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT)
"Charcot-Marie-Tooth, or CMT, is the most common inherited neurological disorder, affecting approximately 150,000 Americans. CMT is found world-wide in all races and ethnic groups. It was discovered in 1886 by three physicians, Jean-Marie-Charcot, Pierre Marie, and Howard Henry Tooth. CMT patients slowly lose [feeling in] their feet/legs and hands/arms as nerves to the extremities degenerate. The muscles in the extremities become weakened because of the loss of stimulation by the affected nerves. Additionally, there is a loss of sensory nerve function." From: http://www.charcot-marie-tooth.org/.
Accommodation ideas for individuals with CMT:
- Muscle weakness: An individual with CMT 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 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 vaccuum lifts are often used. For driving, steering grips or hand controls may be useful.
- Lack of sensitivity to hot and cold, especially in the hands and feet: Heated clothing and heaters, cooling clothing, portable air conditioners, and fans are useful for controlling work areas that fluctuate dramatically in temperature.
- 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.
- Dealing with workplace stress: An individual with CMT may benefit from reduction or elimination of stress in the current position, transfer to a less stressful position, flexible schedule to recover from any effects caused by workplace stress, and work at home to avoid workplace stress.
- Difficulty performing activities of daily living: Eating aids, grooming aids, and other independent living aids may help.