RSI for youth

Question: As a 26 year old with a whole career ahead it has been quite a blow I have been taking the replies back to my husband who is off work at the moment to rest his wrists. We are back to the doctors next week and hopefully she will refer us to someone with more than a general practitioners experience as the Diclofenac isn’t easing the pain (and probably isn’t a good idea long term from your inputs) Just one thing. How easy is it to get employers to install the voice recognition computer?

Comment 1: You use your normal computer (you may need to add extra memory or sound card if you have a low spec machine). Software starts at around 50 pounds nowadays. People on this list can provide more advice if you describe what type of work your husband does. Is it programming, or mainly document writing or graphics etc etc? I had no problem with my employers, they were glad to find a way to keep me working and took health and safety requirements very seriously.

Comment 2: I can sympathise – I’m 28 and got RSI in my right wrist 7 months ago from mouse use. Having to consider the possibility of finding whole new career is pretty daunting. Computing is my field so it’s pretty difficult to avoid using them. Fortunately it hasn’t come to that and I’m well on the road to recovery though care needs to be exercised at all times so as not to overdo it. I’ve found mine very willing to supply any necessary office or computer equipment, but my department has strong research interests in the field of disability so are probably more aware than most. Voice recognition software for a computer is relatively cheap – relative to the costs of ongoing sick leave and resulting lost productivity etc, training time for someone as a replacement would probably cost more. There are sources of funding for employers to help with the cost of buying and installing new equipment too.

Aspects that need considering are things like noise in an office – may need a separate office, or well-screened work area to use voice recognition software. Also be aware that use of voice-recognition software can lead to voice problems! A speech therapist would probably be able to give good advice about avoiding this. Give my best wishes for a speedy recovery to your husband: Recovery may take a while but be patient and be good to yourself.

Comment 3: Contact the Disability Employment Advisor at your local Job Centre, they will tell you about the current “Access to Work” rules for the funding of equipment to keep disabled people in work. Basically your employer pays for the equipment, in this case the PC and Voice recognition software, then claims a percentage back from the “Access to Work” scheme – currently about 70%, I believe.

Comment 4: If you get in touch with the Disability Employment Adviser at the local Job Centre, s/he should be able to tell you about the Access to Work scheme, also known as PACT. The PACT team help assess what equipment is needed for someone to continue in employment, and help with the costs. The rules change frequently, so it’s best to speak to the local office. It’s well worth checking it out — I know several people who have been helped through PACT. If your husband is accepted under the Access to Work scheme, be sure they consider the chair as well as the computer. A good chair can make a big difference.

Comment 5: Thanks to all who have given us advice. As a 26 year old with a whole career ahead it has been quite a blow. I have been taking the replies back to my husband who is off work at the moment to rest his wrists. We are back to the doctors next week and hopefully she will refer us to someone with more than a general practitioners experience as the Diclofenac isn’t easing the pain. (And probably isn’t a good idea long term from your inputs)

Comment 6: From my experience, a GP can know more than a consultant. I think it simply depends entirely on what GP you have, and whether they absorb the latest medical findings or reject them. (If interested at all.) I have a very good GP. I am fortunate.

Comment 7: Just to add that desk height is also very important, as well as chair. I got rid of my symptoms for two years (they did come back but still) by raising myself in relation to the keyboard. A good chair will allow this. also an arrangement (under-desk or tray) which allows you to lower the keyboard compared to main desk.


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