Identifying Accommodations for Robert to Return to Work
Robert experiences residual memory problems following the removal of a brain cyst. Thirteen months after the operation, he gradually began to return to work, as the regional manager of an insurance company, where he had been employed for thirty years.
The four primary functions of Robert's position included:
- Determining whether or not to accept a proposal,
- Traveling around the state,
- Making sales presentations, and
- Recalling pertinent information from meetings.
Robert had been back in the office on a part-time basis for approximately three weeks when the president of the company began to notice he was having difficulty performing the job effectively. The services of a vocational rehabilitation specialist were secured to provide advice on whether he could perform the essential functions of his job with or without accommodation. Multiple on-the-job observations revealed a number of potential accommodations that Robert might be able to use to assist him with performing the job.
Concern 1: Robert needed to recall information related to policy changes and new corporate procedures.
- Study and read information using a method especially designed to enhance retention.
- Keep a daily journal including:
1) "to do" and "accomplished" list;
2) telephone contact log;
3) insertion of post it notes to serve as a cue for carrying over a task, highlighting tasks or questions which needed to be answered.
- Attend therapy focusing on developing relaxation techniques and recognizing the source of anxiety.
- Allow early release from work on days when Robert feels anxiety is becoming unmanageable.
- Review medication with primary care physician.
- Write down all new information.
- Schedule specific times throughout the day to conduct this activity.
- Take time to preplan a route.
- Use a map and write down the directions.
- Hire a driver.
- Pair up with a co-worker.
- Pair up with another company representative at important meetings and compare notes after the meeting to check comprehension.
- Use a tape recorder and summarize outcomes later.
- Practice and videotape these rehearsals. Review the tape using a checklist to determine if all-important points were covered.
- In advance, develop slides/handouts and specific notes to guide the sales presentation.