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Productivity Tools for Data Entry Worker

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A data entry worker at the YMCA enters information from various forms into a database. The individual has cerebral palsy, and he uses a wheelchair for mobility. He also has trouble with upper extremity fine motor control. He is able to use a computer, but needs to increase his data entry speed. He also has trouble manipulating the forms from which he copies information.


To accommodate the individual's wheelchair, the workstation height was increased by one inch. In addition, the center drawer was removed.

A form holder was required. Initially, a job coach was needed because the worker was unable to manipulate the forms. A form holder, similar to a copy stand, was devised that holds that day's forms, all held in place by a clip.

For computer access, the worker needed a Keyguard that allows him to isolate single keys. For optimum placement of both the keyboard and cursor-control device, a Mini-Keyboard with Keyguard was recommended (ORCA Cherry keyboard). For cursor control, the Kensington Trackball was determined to be best option for this case.

Each of these accommodations helped the individual perform the job, and thus, improve entry speed. However, several additional accommodations were also used to improve the client's entry speed. First, a Microsoft Access Database was customized to simplify data entry and reporting. For example, the database had default values so that some information did not need to be constantly reentered. Next, large buttons were set up for frequently used keys and commands, such as Tab, Shift Tab and Backspace. This was accomplished with a product called "Step On It" which provides a set of three programmable foot pedals (that can also be used as hand switches). Finally, abbreviation expansion and macro capabilities were accomplished by Macro Express program. This helped eliminate steps and allow for fewer keystrokes. For example, most addresses entered were from a small set of zip codes, so a macro was set up the entered the entire zip code in response to just the last couple of digits.

Cost Analysis

Material Costs

Deskalator, 4/pk - 14.95

Mini-Keyguard/keyboard - 150.00

Kensington Expert 4 Button Mouse - 83.47

Macro Express - 34.95

"Step On It" pedals / adaptors / software - 99.00

Shipping and Handling - 22.95

Total - $420.27

Repeatability of Solution

The customization and multiple aspects of this accommodation took a significant amount of time, but similar accommodations could be made for another individual.


Joel Turmo

Valley Packaging Industries, Inc.

2730 N. Roemer Rd.

Appleton, WI 54911

Phone: 920-749-5859