Physical Change in Ability to Work

Confidential assistance and support is available to you if there has been a change (permanent or temporary) in your ability to perform your job that may be due to a recent physical change such as:

  • change in vision, hearing or other sensory issue
  • change in strength, endurance, or coordination

Physical changes may be due to a personal medical condition such as arthritis or cancer, back/neck/arm/hand pain, or a neurological diagnosis such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis, ALS or Parkinson's disease.

MHealthy Medical Ergonomics and Occupational Therapy Services

Phone: (734) 763-0852

Physicians: Please put a referral into MiChart for a worksite consultation via MHealthy Ergo, or if not within UM, fax a referral to (734) 615-1570. The OT provides guidance and assistance at the job site to facilitate a successful match between the employee's abilities and the job site needs. The MHealthy occupational therapist can identify employee strategies and accommodations to optimize work capacities, and to implement a trial of those solutions at the worksite in collaboration with the department. Issues addressed include musculoskeletal discomfort and limitations in mobility, coordination, strength, vision, hearing, memory and organizational skills. These individual services for faculty and staff are available at no charge after we receive a physician's referral via MiChart or fax.

An example of how we've helped:

A university employee was experiencing progressively decreased vision and hearing. She began making computer and paperwork errors, was perceived as rude when she did not respond to verbal information and started coming to work late because she could no longer hear her alarm clock. Due to leaning forward all day to see the small computer fonts, she was increasingly uncomfortable in her back and neck. The employee met with an MHealthy occupational therapist (OT), who helped to identify the employee's job duties, and her related abilities and limitations. The OT also worked with the employee and her department to develop reasonable solutions and train her on using low-cost accommodations such as computer magnification and color options, paperwork magnifying lights, mirrors to see those approaching her from behind, and a vibrating alarm clock to use under her pillow. She was also encouraged to take ownership of her physical changes by asking for help when needed and helping co-workers understand how to effectively get her attention by gently tapping her on the shoulder. Today, she is a respected and valued member in the department.

Quotes From Those We've Helped

"Over the past 3 months, (The Occupational Therapist) has provided counseling and coaching to a medical assistant with both cognitive and physical challenges from a past cardiovascular accident. As a result of (the Occupational Therapist) interventions, we will hopefully be able to find a more appropriate and satisfying work experience for this employee."