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Case Study Workplace design for an apprentice draftswoman


The employer is the State Building Department.

Disability and Functional Limitation:

The woman has paraplegia. She is dependent on the use of a wheelchair. Her grasping range is limited due to her disability. She can cover short distances with the help of walking sticks.


The woman is in vocational training to become a draftswoman.

Workplace and work task (actual state):

The trainee performs general office tasks. During her vocational training she goes through the following areas of activity:
- the preparation of plan bases from development plans
- the transfer of drafts into the plan bases
- the writing of newly drafted plan drawing statements
- the preparation of coloured statute copies
- the signing off of the draft version adopted as statute into the master book
of the development plan
For the execution of the extensive and frequent changes of drawings as well as their new preparation she has only one drawing table with a fixed horizontal table top at her disposal. Due to the size of the plans and drawings, most of the work can only be done standing at this drawing table with the upper body bent. The standing posture required for this work, with the upper body bent far forward over the work surface, places a considerable strain on the trainee.

Workplace and work task (target state):

In order to avoid the physical strain, the workplace of the trainee is equipped with a CAD system, a plotter and a printer as well as a desk that can be moved underneath and adjusted in height. The use of the CAD system means that the trainee can directly access a lot of existing drawing and written information via the integration of her new workplace into the PC network. Stressful postures are eliminated through the use of the CAD system, since all work can be performed in a seated posture at the screen. Time-consuming operations (such as scratching out drawings for changes, assembling plans and making tracing copies) are also completely eliminated. The software also includes a word processor so that written information can also be entered directly into the plans.

Assistive products used:

Further Information

The design suitable for disabled people was 100% funded by the Integration Office.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 19 Jul 2006