Comments: From the list, it’s clear that people often feel that they’re dealing with RSI on their own – e.g. their GP or physio doesn’t have much experience of RSI and their employer’s / their own knowledge of ergonomics and available equipment is limited. I’ve done a fair bit to help myself (e.g. buying VR software), but have felt quite alone at times in my attempts to diagnose my problems and decide on a course of action.
The good news for me is that things are looking up! I recently contacted my local Employment Service Disability Service Team (also referred to on this list as PACT – was this a previous name?). I’d seen the name mentioned on the list, but didn’t know what it was and hadn’t pursued it because – I don’t think of myself as disabled (although my RSI gives me pain at work and I’m worried about doing permanent damage and having to change my job).
I’m self-employed and didn’t think it applied to me. …. which is why I’m writing about it now, as I suspect many more on the list could benefit, but don’t know much about it. At the risk of repeating what has been said elsewhere, my understanding is that Disability Service Teams give help and advice for people who have various kinds of disability where that affects their ability to work. They can help people in permanent employment and the self-employed.
Contact a Job centre for details of your local office. After filling in a form to describe my situation, a local DST officer came to assess my workstation. Since I work from home, no-one had ever done this for me. He referred me to a larger centre nearby where a qualified physio with experience in ergonomics looked at my typing position, asked about my RSI and identified causes of my specific problems. Again, I’d never seen anyone before with the right combination of experience to do this.
The centre had a range of equipment for me to try, under the physio’s guidance. She has proposed some equipment that I hadn’t dreamed existed and said I could actually try it out at home first before buying it. There is some funding available for equipment, but I’m not sure how the system works. That’s as far as I’ve got – I’m waiting for the equipment to arrive, and feeling very hopeful about my situation.
I know that others on the list have already been successful in obtaining equipment and VR software through the DST.I don’t know how typical my experience is, but I hope this (lengthy!) message will provide some encouragement to others on the list.