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This page was last updated on: 23 October, 2012
Case Study:
Let's Meet Sandy **
Sandy's Strengths:
Has excellent communication skills.
Able to use her right hand for fine motor activities.
Can use her left hand to stabilize objects.
Is very organized.
Uses a power scooter independently for mobility.
Is very interested in working and contributing to the family budget.

Sandy's Work Challenges:
Has cerebral palsy which causes unsteady movement in both hands and arms.
Has difficulty using her left hand for any fine motor skills such as grasping objects with her fingers. She is able to pick up objects but very slowly.
Slow movements such as opening and closing her hands takes her longer due to motor limitation.

Sandy's Job:
Opening mail at First Union Bank, sorting mail with and without checks, and stacking into piles for data entry.

Sandy has difficulty opening the mail.
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A "jig" was designed for Sandy which she uses to open the mail. All envelopes are first slit open by a machine (completed by another co-worker). Sandy slides the envelope onto her jig and the pops it open. This movement slits the envelopes requiring her to only use one hand for the task.

Production Issue:
Although the jig made it possible for Sandy to use one hand for opening envelopes, production was still an issue for the bank. The task was further analyzed, and a task analysis developed which limited the number of times Sandy actually manipulated the envelopes. Initially, she completed the task by completing the following steps:

Initial Task Analysis: (done using one hand)
Pick up envelope and slide on jig.
Pop open the jig.
Lay envelope on the table.
Close the jig.
Open envelope.
Take out checks and bill statement.
Put checks and bill statement on table.
Pick up envelope.
Throw envelope away.
Pick up checks and insert into the bill statement stack onto pile of statements.

Observation of Sandy completing the job duty showed that she was picking up and putting down the envelope too many times. Since she is slow to open and close her and, this was creating a problem with production. A new task analysis was designed to create efficiency of movement.

New Task Analysis: (done using one hand)
Pick up envelope and slide on jig
Pop open the envelope
Shake out the contents.
Throw envelope away.
Pick up checks and insert into the bill statement
Stack onto pile of statements.

In the new task analysis, Sandy was asked to pick up the envelope and do as much of the task as possible before putting it down. By limiting the number of times that she had to open and close her hand, Sandy was able to increase her production.

Sandy needed to sort bills by those which included checks and those that did not. Those bills which did not have a payment were sorted into a pile and a number had to be kept as to how many were in the pile. Using a pen or pencil for this task was too difficult for Sandy.

A counter was purchased and placed into a stand to stabilize it. Sandy used the counter to record how many bills came in each day without a check.

This is not a case study I wrote, and I do not know its origin. It just showed up one day in my email. I am including it because it is a great illustration of a task analysis being used to determine accomodations.

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