Ergonomic Devices

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Summary: Ergonomic hardware (devices designed and/or arranged to promote healthy, comfortable, and efficient interactions with your technology tools) may be available to you through either Disability Resources or the U's Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

 

On this page:

 

What kinds of devices?

The devices listed in this section are available for purchase at the University of Minnesota. 

Monitor and keyboard arms

 

Ergonomic sit/stand work stations

Table, keyboard and monitor can be adjusted independently to accommodate the needs of most users. Helps to reduce fatigue and the risk of Repetative Strain Injuries (RSI). Accommodates users with limited reach, mobility and those who use a wheelchair. Looking for an ergonomic chair? Try the U of M Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

Natural keyboards

“Natural” keyboards, with their split, gently sloped shape, encourage natural hand, wrist and forearm positioning.

Trackballs

Trackballs encourage natural hand positioning and reduce arm, shoulder and wrist movement. A top-mounted ball allows easy fingertip, palm  or mouth-pointer control and precision pointing. Their symmetrical design fits both left- and-right-handed users and all hand sizes.

These ergonomic devices accommodate users with hand, arm, shoulder, back and neck injuries or impairments. They also reduce the risk of Repetitive strain Injury (RSI).

How to get these devices

If you are an employee or student already working with the Disability Resource Center (DRC), start there to field questions about your options for obtaining ergonomic items.

If you don't have a DRC documented accommodation, follow these steps:

  1. Perform a self evaluation (launches survey tool) which can give you some ideas about improvements you can make to your work station on your own.
  2. Contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS), 612-626-6002, to set up an appointment. There is no cost for this appointment. Please allow 4 weeks for scheduling.

DEHS evaluations

Your DEHS specialist will come to your work station for the evaluation. For remote locations the evaluation also can be done via Google Hangouts or by an exchanges of photos. The in-person evaluation typically takes 10 to 30 minutes.  

Cost

If you're an employee who needs ergonomic accommodations, your department will pay 80% for preventative ergonomic items or 60% of items covered by Disability Resource Center. Worker's compensation items are covered 100%. Preventative and sit/stand equipment are eligible for a reimbursement of up to $100 or a maximum of $200 for ergonomic items offered through Disability Resource Center. Non-sit/stand items are eligible for partial reimbursement up to 20%. Higher reimbursement amounts are available if you have a registered disability.

Computers and monitors are not covered. 

For students

Your department may choose to pay for ergonomic items only if you are a student employee of that department. If you are a student not working in a campus job, you should initiate a discussion with the Disability Resource Center to determine whether ergonomic items may be purchased for you. 

Coordinate campuses

This page lists contact information for DEHS centers on coordinate campuses.

What if my department can't pay for my ergonomic item? 

Departments may not have funds available. You might try the ReUse Center to find used ergonomic items. Several local furniture representatives also provide discounted used ergonomic chairs (ask your DEHS contact for more details).

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