Time scale for VR systems

Having being diagnosed with tenosynovitis and CTS in March, I am now in the position where I can’t return to work until they have voice recognition in for me. I informed them of my inability to use keyboards to any great extent at the start of May – and still haven’t even been to test out VR – despite being a large national company, they can’t even give me a date when they will get the kit in for me – out of interest does anyone have examples of how quickly (or slowly!) their employers have dealt with such situations for RSI cases? Hope to hear some encouraging news!

Comment 1: Have you talked to PACT? I understand that if they get involved, they also take part in purchasing, and that might speed things up.

Comment 2: I had my first RSI injury in November 1995, and my second (and lasting) one in June 1997. Despite being diagnosed in June 1998 with permanent work-related RSI (thoracic outlet syndrome, writer’s cramp, carpal tunnel) (year’s wait due to very long NHS queue to see specialist and skeptical GP who would not at first refer me), I have only just succeeded (as of last week) in convincing my equally skeptical employers I REALLY cannot type any more (I was a 90 wpm touch typist).

Cheer up though – my employers have suddenly become aware of what I have been trying to tell them for over a year – that voice-recognition (I use DragonDictate at home and recently at work) is so much faster and more efficient – they want me to be a sort of guinea-pig in using V-R for all different software programs and then teach others. I don’t think it means gigantic job losses either – in my experience, other peoples’ work always expands to fill the time allowed to do it in – Luddites in my office just a few years’ ago were saying they thought the coming of word-processors the beginning of the end for keyboard operators and I’ve seen no signs of that yet – if anything, there’s been even more work as people change their minds about what they want typed again and again!

Lots of luck for the future. PS – if you’ve access to Internet try joining the Voice-Users mailing list, subscribe from http://www.voicerecognition.net/. It has lost of info. about voice-recognition, some (well, OK, most) of its way over my head but I’ve found a great deal of interest there and it impresses the heck out of IT types who don’t use VR themselves.

Comment 3: I apologise if I can’t bring encouraging news. It took me half a year to get VR from the point that I knew that there was no way I could do my work without it. The main bottleneck was a stupid disagreement between my employer and a Dutch “disability fund” over who should pay for the $2000 I asked for. Of course, in the mean time my employer had to pay my salary which was quite a lot more. Please try not to get frustrated over this. It is important that you tell your employer loud and clear that the only way you can do your job is with VR. Better also mention that there is an investment of training time involved. I think you’d better write a (short) letter with copies to all who are just a tiny bit responsible. Then just wait and see what happens. If nothing happens, then try to enjoy this forced holiday. You’ll have lots of time for exercising, which will probably benefit your health.

For me, the letter I wrote to the director finally did the job. I should have done it much earlier, but I was promised several times over the phone that it would not take long before the funding would be available. In the meantime, they did nothing but invent new excuses for why it would take more time. Always blaming others, holidays, etc. It got on my nerves in a terrible way, but looking back I would say it was not worth it. If somebody likes to pay my salary without me working for it, why should I consider that my problem? Good luck.

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