Accommodation and Real Risks: Integrating Productivity, Safety and Quality in the Work Place

Dr. Deborah Kearney

Accommodation in the work place for people with disabilities has to date not been addressed with a systematic approach to the seven critical competencies required to do work. Job descriptions rarely provide a valid representation of knowledge required, psychology, biomechanics, strength, sensory, safety or quality expectations. This presentation will meet three objectives. Illustrate a strategy for truly defining jobs by competencies. Provide a validation analysis of job risks from an ergonomic perspective. Use a case study approach to illuminate how a 45 factor accommodation and training analysis led to job successes for people in health care, manufacturing, and service industries. Costs of solutions will be reviewed.

Dr. Deborah Kearney has worked to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce all of her career. She is an OSHA certified trainer and inspector. Her work in ergonomics has led to the development and patent of adjustable height work stations to accommodate people in sit to stand postures. She won the International Facilities Management Association award for distinguished author in 1991 for her book Meeting the Need, Meeting the Code, The Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990. Her most recent initiatives include the integration of sensory impaired people into expanded work opportunities.

Presentation abstract from the 'Workplace Accommodations: State of the Science' conference
September 15-16, 2005, Altanta, GA