Wednesday, August 17, 2016

AT Lab brings cashier and customers to same level

photo of Diane handing a receipt to a customer

Thanks to the Assistive Technology Lab at USU-Logan, a friendly cashier can see eye to eye with her customers.

Diane Young of Logan worked through Vocational Rehabilitation to find a job with a large retailer, but her short stature made it hard for her to reach the keypad and interact with shoppers. She needed a platform.

The project was referred to the Assistive Technology Lab, part of the Utah Assistive Technology Program within the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. From there, Lab Coordinator Clay Christensen and Mike Stokes, a volunteer, set about assessing the need.

photo of Diane on the platformWhen they looked for a ready-made platforms online, they decided those options were significantly less customized and more expensive than what they could build on their own.

Stokes and Christensen visited Young at work. They went with her to an empty cash register where they could take measurements and find the right height for Young's work station floor. Then Stokes made a platform that would not only raise the level of her work station, but also fill the work space without leaving any gaps that could be a safety hazard.

Stokes said the finished product was made of lightweight corrugated packaging material and covered with non-slip padding. He built handles into it to make it easier to move.

"It's working really well," Young said. "It's very lightweight. You can move it easily."

"After she got comfortable with it she was cashiering," Stokes said. "This was a great project. It was simple, quick and it makes it so she can work."

The AT labs at USU help find customized solutions for people with disabilities who want to meet a goal. Projects are usually done for the cost of materials, though donations--either monetary or of used equipment--are encouraged. More information is available on the lab's webpage.

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