Successful Aging in the Workplace

Project Team

Project Co-Directors: Daniela Jopp, Ph.D. and Jon Sanford, M.Arch.
Advisor/Project Partner: G. Moulton, Microsoft Corporation

Summary / Outcome Goals

The primary purpose of this project is to explore how employees with disabilities successfully age in the workplace. Of particular interest are strategies used to overcome difficulties with computer work tasks that result from changes in abilities over time. In collaboration with Microsoft Corporation, this project will specifically identify strategies used to accommodate difficulties with both hardware (i.e., monitor and interface devices) and software (e.g., accessibility features).

Specific aims of the project are to identify: 1) specific computer usage problems experienced by employees aging with a disability; 2) the types of off-the-shelf and individualized accommodations being used to overcome problems; and 3) accessibility features that are available (e.g., magnifier), but not being used to overcome problems. Based on these findings, we will develop best practice guidelines for accommodation strategies used by individuals aging with a disability and conduct usability studies supported by Microsoft Corporation to determine accommodation and training needs of this population.

Progress to Date

Seeking Survey Participants
Do you work in an office? Want to share your experiences with using a computer? We are currently distributing an online survey to learn about the difficulties individuals may encounter while using a personal computer at work and about the ways they handle these difficulties in order to complete their job tasks. We are specifically interested in older individuals with disabilities or individuals who have experienced any loss in functioning. The online survey should take 15-30 minutes to complete. Contact Daniela Joppfor more information about this study.