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Cataplexy - a symptom of narcolepsyCataplexy

Cataplexy is the sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone or temporary paralysis that is often triggered by extreme emotion, such as laughter or fear. Cataplexy by itself is considered a rare disease. Most episodes are short in duration, lasting a few seconds up to five minutes. These episodes tend to have few, if any, residual effects. Some people with narcolepsy can have cataplectic attacks almost daily, while there are some people with narcolepsy that have never experienced cataplexy.

During a cataplectic attack the person will remain conscious; however, the person may experience jaw dropping, which can cause speech limitations, or eyelids drooping, which can interfere with vision. Other symptoms may include balance issues, upper extremity weakness, and/or collapsing.

While a cataplectic attack is usually very short in duration and leaves no residual effects, there may be symptoms that would require workplace accommodations. Some of the most common limitations stemming from a cataplectic attack are weakened speech, vision issues, trouble balancing, upper extremity weakness, and/or collapsing.

Accommodating Employees with Cataplexy

People with cataplexy may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with cataplexy will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following articles provide additional information and accommodation solutions.

Note: Link to AskJAN and EveryDay Health for more information and publications regarding Cataplexy

What are employers' responsibilities?

Be aware that not all people with cataplexy will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. Cataplexy can affect balancing, handling and fingering, stress intolerance, walking and weak speech to name a few compromising conditions. The devices listed below are available to borrow for a 6-week free trial from Oklahoma ABLE Tech.

Scissors – Fingers-Free Snips
Large-Print Bluetooth Keyboard
Magic Arm Mounting System
Ergonomic T-Foam Seat Cushion
Ergonomic OBUS Seat Pad
Soft Transfer Swivel Cushion (use in car or home)
Uplift Power Seat
Wheelchair Desk
Solutions for Decreased Stamina/Fatigue

Call Oklahoma ABLE Tech (800-257-1705) for accommodation ideas or to borrow assistive technology. ABLE Tech’s AT Device Demonstration and Short-Term Loan Program works just like a book library.

Search Oklahoma ABLE Tech’s resources for reused AT and durable medical equipment*
including free and low cost items.
* where, for this particular illness, you could borrow a motorized wheelchair, if available


Need funding to assist in the purchase of assistive devices? Oklahoma ABLE Tech offers a comprehensive online guide for Oklahoma Funding for AT. Additionally, ABLE Tech, in partnership with Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) and BancFirst of Stillwater, offers Financial Loans to purchase assistive technology. Several programs of funding are available, all with LOW interest rate and flexible repayment terms, as well as special qualification opportunities for applicants who might not qualify for a traditional bank loan. For questions on the Financial Loan opportunities, call Shelley Gladden for more information at 800-257-1705.


Rob Carr, Accessibility Coordinator

Oklahoma ABLE Tech

Oklahoma State University

1514 W. Hall of Fame

Stillwater, OK 74078

Phone: 800.257.1705

Email: rgcarr@okstate.edu

Linda Jaco, Associate Director for Sponsored Programs

Department of Wellness

Oklahoma State University

1514 W. Hall of Fame,

Stillwater, OK 74078

Phone: 800.257.1705

Email: linda.jaco@okstate.edu

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2018 Access for All Weekly Tips

January through MarchApril through JuneJuly through SeptemberOctober through December
01/08/2018
AT Discovery: Computer Access
04/2/2018
Multiple Sclerosis
07/2/2018
Myths About Employees
with Disabilities
10/01/2018
Creating an Accessible Workstation
01/15/2018
Alert Devices
04/9/2018
AT Discovery: Hearing
07/9/2018
AT Discovery: Organization
10/08/2018
iPads
01/22/2018
AT Discovery: Reading
04/16/2018
Tips for Addressing
Employees with Disabilities
07/16/2018
Back Impairments
10/15/2018
Alzheimer's Disease
01/29/2018
Chronic Pain
04/23/2018
AT Discovery: Speech
07/23/2018
Diabetes
10/22/2018
Dyspraxia
02/05/2018
AT Discovery: EAC
04/30/2018
PTSD
07/30/2018
Essential Tremor
10/29/2018
Chronic Pain
02/12/2018
Braille Devices
05/07/2018
Stroke
08/06/2018
Reasonable Accommodation
11/5/2018
Chronic Fatigue
02/19/2018
AT Discovery: Mathematics
05/14/2018
AT Discovery: Computer Access
08/13/2018
Albinism
11/19-30/2018
Vertigo
02/26/2018
Arthritis
05/21/2018
Tips for Unlocking the Talent
and Potential of Employees with Disabilities
08/20/2018
Drug Addiction
12/03-15/2018
Shingles


02/05/2018
AT Discovery: Organization
05/28/2018
AT Discovery: Reading
08/27/2018
Alternative Text
03/12/2018
Ergonomic Seating
06/04/2018
Bipolar Disorder
09/03/2018
Using Headings in Microsoft Word
03/19/2018
AT Discovery: Writing
05/28/2018
AT Discovery: EAC
09/10/2018
Low Cost, High Impact
03/26/2018
Limited Hearing
06/18/2018
Magnifiers
09/17/2018
Pregnancy
06/25/2018
AT Discovery: Math
09/24/2018
Cancer