Job design is the process of tailoring a job to match the abilities of an individual. This requires that a personal profile of the employee is built up; concentrating on the things that can be done, not those that cannot be done. The employee’s work duties can then be adjusted to take advantage of ability, whilst minimising the impact of disability.
If job design is to work effectively, it does require the full cooperation of the employer and of work colleagues. It is most often effective in team settings, where the duties of team members may be reallocated so that team members trade strengths and weaknesses with their disabled colleague.
The objective is to reach a situation where the disabled employee fits into a number of niches, doing the things that he or she can best do. Colleagues will then feel comfortable in asking the disabled person to do those things and in providing assistance to the disabled employee in doing those things that he or she finds more difficult.
Many disabled people have naturally tended towards this niche solution, but it can frequently be further encouraged through job design, with consequent benefits for all concerned.
Job design looks at both the client and the work situation, and attempts to identify areas where strengths and weaknesses can be traded, or where specific qualities in individuals can be exploited to the overall benefit of the job.