Assistive Technology to Enhance Wounded Warrior Employment Opportunities

Isn’t it time we provide our wounded warriors with the tools they need to get them back on the job front?

With October being characterized as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by the U.S. Department of Labor, it seems only fitting to highlight the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP).

CAP, established by the U.S. Department of Defense, provides assistive technology devices to wounded service members in order to enhance employment opportunities within the public or private sectors. The program works closely with wounded warrior’s medical teams, case managers and liaisons at military treatment facilities (MTF) to develop a needs assessment and provide training throughout all phases of the recovery and transition process.

CAP equips service members with assistive devices depending on their specific medical conditions. The program accommodates injuries in five distinct areas:

  1. Vision Loss or low vision
  2. Cognitive Impairments
  3. Communication Disabilities
  4. Deaf or Limited Hearing
  5. Dexterity

 Types of Assistive Technology

Depending on the type of condition that a wounded warrior has, assistive devices may vary. The following information lists the conditions and possible assistive devices that CAP provides. To get more information on these types of devices go to CAP’s Accommodation Solutions.

Vision Loss or Low vision

Devices are tailored to the needs of service members with vision loss or low vision. Below are the types of assistive technology that CAP recommends for warriors with vision disabilities.

  • CCTV
  • Large Print Keyboards
  • Portable CCTV
  • Scanner/Reader
  • Screen Magnification
  • Screen Readers
  • Voice Recorders

Cognitive Impairments

Cognitive impairments are usually characterized by wounded warriors suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), memory loss and other impaired brain functions.

  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Cueing/Memory Aids
  • Educational Software

Communication Disabilities

Wounded service members with limited speech or speech impediments resulting from military service can be considered for assistive technology devices under the accommodation of communication disabilities. Devices include:

  • Voice Amplifier
  • Word Prediction Software

Deaf or Limited Hearing

CAP recommends the following assistive technology devices to warriors who are unable to hear and understand speech or who have a level of hearing that ranges, resulting in the use of hearing aids.

  • Amplified telephone equipment
  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Telephone Headsets and Handsets

Dexterity

Dexterity is for disabilities that impact a service member’s range of motion; this could include: amputees and individuals with multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Devices include:

  • Alternative keyboards
  • Alternative pointing devices
  •  Headsets/Microphones
  • Large print keyboards
  • Speech Recognition
  • Telephone headsets and handsets
  • Voice Recorders

If you are interested in learning more about workforce disability or accommodations for wounded service members go to CAP–now. It is important that we ensure our warriors receive appropriate assistive technology devices to fit their needs.

 

Author: Rachel Brauner
This article is part of a series of Military Family Caregiving articles published on the Military Families Leaning Network blog.

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