Friday, 7 April 2017

Ataxia

I had a job interview not long back for a position with the archaically named Communication Service for the Deaf, their local branch here is also thankfully known as Minnesota Relay. Their main business is the provision of relay services to allow Deaf people or people with speech disabilities to access services. That business comes through a contract with Sprint, who in turn have deals with 32 separate states of the USA.

I believe those stats are right. Anyway, the main purpose of this post is to shine a light on life with a neurological condition rooted in brain damage, and being required to do a timed typing test in order to qualify for the job.

For the record, it took me three attempts and some adjustment of the keyboard position, seating position and testing method. All of these are things which cannot, fairly obviously, be conducted after the room has been adjusted by an occupational health specialist.

I'll ask about that when training begins because I DID get the job.

However, when I first sat down - and despite breathing exercises, my hands were shaking horrendously and so my natural inclination towards quality rather than speed kicks in.

Ataxia is a feature of some types of Cerebral Palsy wherein movements become jerky and unpredictable. What the previous post I made would refer to as the "Anxiety schema", also triggers increased spasticity (non typing arm, but still not fun in a job interview)

In the spoken element of the interview, neither spasticity nor ataxia were present so apparently it was the perfect #spoonie storm.

I type with three fingers on one hand, an entirely self-taught strategy which probably also amplified this problem. In decades of typing, including timed exams, I've never had that combination before.

After training, I'll let you know if I learned anything I can use in this job going forward.

Peace and love,

Tim