When you rely on a powerchair for work, little details can ...Read More
Reasonable workplace adjustments for wheelchair users
Australia’s Equal Opportunity Act 2010 requires employers to make “reasonable adjustments” to allow people with disability to work safely and productively.
Your workplace is one where you should feel included and comfortable, so you can be as productive as possible. In the effort to enable people with disability to participate more in everyday working life, the Australian government requires employers to make reasonable adjustments, and offers funding to help cover the costs of those adjustments.
A simple example of one such reasonable adjustment was shared with us by Magic 360 user Bev. When Bev started her new role working in warehousing, her employer installed canteen tables with sufficient clearance to ensure she and other powerchair users could easily manoeuvre around and fit under them.
Victoria’s Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission has summarised the regulations and examples of what are or are not considered reasonable. You can read more about this here.
For powered wheelchair users, reasonable adjustments may include providing adjustable height desks and installing access ramps as needed.
These adjustments may also include arranging flexible work hours and allowing more regular breaks to deal with chronic pain for fatigue.
In order to achieve a favourable outcome, it is important you bring your Therapist or allied health professional, your employer and the company that manufactures your wheelchair together so that all parties can be aligned and working towards their common goal. It is all about getting you back to work, and ensuring you are safe and comfortable, and that you can be productive.
Whilst we are not experts in work space customisation, we are always happy to work alongside you, your therapist and employer to find the best combination of assistive technology and reasonable workplace adjustments to suit your working needs.