Assistive Technology, Accommodations, and Employment – “It’s All About the Little Things!”

It's the little things
“It’s the little things.”
 We hear time & time again… it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference… or at least, as of late, this is all ringing true for those who are in my professional & personal life.
I had the opportunity to hear of the success a particular person has been having & experiencing while interning with an area business… his name has been changed, but the story is the same. His job coach led off the story with, “It’s all about the little things…”
Michael had a real knack for information & researching where & how to find out information… & enjoys sharing his know-how & knowledge with others. Michael also discovered a real interest in using computers & is excited & motivated to learn more about them & all the ways he can use them. Researching addresses to send fan mail to his favorite celebrities got him started…
He also doesn’t like being on his feet for a long period of time. He tells us, “I’m not as young as I used to be.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? We’re not all spring chickens anymore. He also doesn’t like to be hot. Hot work environments are not his cup of tea. I can’t say I blame him.
His supporters, employment specialist, & job coach were hearing all of this & keeping good notes.
His job coach said, “It’s all about the little things…” Michael needs the room temperature to be (at least) 73 degrees. 74 degrees won’t work (they tried!). If Michael had it his way, his office would be in a meat locker. No lie. He needs a comfortable chair, a dedicated & quiet work area, & a place to keep his lunch cold.
He was previously attending, regularly, a sheltered workshop. While there, he stopped keeping his lunch in the refrigerator. A few times someone took his soda, or lunch. He didn’t like having that happen, so he kept his lunch in his thermal bag with him. The thermal bag only keeps things cool for so long. By the time lunch rolled around, his would be warm. He wouldn’t eat all of his lunch most days (or sometimes not at all). He’d be tired. He wasn’t eating a good lunch. It needed to be cold. Now? He has a cold lunch. He eats all of his lunch… & happily.
Now, he’s very productive. Really productive & motivated. Really motivated. He doesn’t want to leave at the end of his time interning that day. What did it take? Doing something he likes doing, doing something that is meaningful for him. Having a comfortable chair, a cold lunch, & a quiet & cool work environment.
Or is it?
What are some of the things you need to be successful on the job?