AccessLab@Illinois provides a look at the future of workplace assistive technology
Accessible workplaces provide opportunities for employees to be successful. Sometimes, this means providing assistive technology like screen reader software or anti-fatigue floor mats. And the new AccessLab@Illinois allows employees to test out these items with the help of experts.
The goal of the lab is to raise awareness about the importance of ergonomics in the workplace for avoiding injury and body fatigue and to provide innovative, and proactive accessibility services to employees across campus. All employees including faculty, staff, student employees, and extra help employees can access the lab.
“We are working to increase accessibility across campus to ensure individuals have access to ergonomic equipment that can assist them in their workspaces especially if they have underlying health needs,” said ADA Coordinator Allison Kushner.
The AccessLab provides people with support as they pursue the accommodations process, she said. It can also help them find the appropriate devices easier and with the help of a specialist. Individuals may also request to check out the equipment that they are interested in for use in their office space on campus on a short-term basis.
“By meeting with Accessibility Specialists, employees can find the right tools to be successful,” Kushner said. “By using the ergonomic equipment at the AccessLab, the employee who has an underlying medical condition can think about items that may assist them now and in the future possibly preventing additional damage and pain.”
A certified ergonomist is also available to answer questions regarding the proper fit and use of equipment during scheduled one-on-one consultations.
Devices available for testing:
- Several types of ergonomic chairs
- Several ergonomic mice, both left and right-handed
- Wrist rests for both mouse and keyboard
- Keyboard trays
- A variety of ergonomic keyboards
- Automated sit to stand desks
- Anti-fatigue floor mats
- Several types of headsets, including noise-canceling
- Blue light blocking screen protectors of various sizes
- Digital recorders
- Alternative lighting desk lamps
- Laptop risers
- Document holders
The Access lab is available for employees who are interested in pursuing an accommodation or those currently engaged in the accommodation process as well as anyone interested in learning more about ergonomic assistive devices that may be helpful to plan for office equipment upgrades to create a more accessible workplace environment.
Employees can contact the Accessibility and Accommodations Division by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment at the Access Lab located in the Office for Access & Equity suite at 614 E. Daniel St. 3rd Floor.