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Work design and mobility aid for a consulting engineer with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury in construction


The man is an entrepreneur and a freelance expert in the field of construction.

Disability and functional limitation:

The entrepreneur is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and disc damage resulting in spinal canal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal of the cervical spine with damage to the spinal cord. Due to disability, there is paralysis in the shoulder / arm and leg area and thus also a reduction in the arm, leg and back muscles. The ability to walk and the cervical, arm / hand movements are limited and he is on the use of aids, u. a. rely on the use of an electric wheelchair, - where he still supported by a lot of effort and stand for a short time uncertainly can walk a few steps on a flat surface. The GdB (degree of disability) is 80.

Training and job:

The man is a graduate engineer and studied industrial engineering and construction at a technical university. After working for various companies in the construction industry, he now works as an independent consulting engineer and expert. As a consultant engineer, he supports the planning and project management of predominantly building construction projects, such as logistics and hotel projects, and as an expert he is involved in the assessment of construction and construction.

Workplace and duties:

The engineer works in his company office and on the construction sites of the customers, where he determines, for example, data for project planning / control and then takes over on-site support. The company office is located in his apartment and is with:
- a height-adjustable desk
- an office chair with split backrest and neck support,
- a PC with touch-monitor, special mouse as well as compact keyboard or small field keyboard,
- printer,
- laptop etc.
To compensate for the motor limitations and the avoidance of one-sided loads, the computer and the software via the compact keyboard and alternatively by the touch monitor by finger touches on the display, a roll bar mouse and / or voice input via headset or speech recognition can be operated.
The operation of the roller bar mouse is done essentially by turning and lateral displacement of a rod. The roll bar mouse is placed in front of the compact keyboard. For simplified manual input, a compact keyboard with lowered keys is used.
In his office he is normally changing from the power wheelchair to the office chair.

Work environment - mobility:

If the construction site to be supervised is close to the man's apartment, he can cover the distance with his electric wheelchair, which he controls by means of a joystick. However, projects that are further away can not be reached with the power wheelchair. Therefore, the engineer was usually driven by his wife in private car to his Germany-wide appointments. However, the electric wheelchair did not fit in the vehicle and the man had to move on foot at the construction site - which is permanently not possible. In general, the electric wheelchair is not suitable for driving on a construction site. Although smaller obstacles can be overcome, however, paths and doors on construction sites form barriers for the power wheelchair because they are uneven or too narrow. The turning radius of the wheelchair is also often too large to turn in small areas. So that the mobility for the engineer in the context of his activity on the building sites can be guaranteed, after so-called driving robot and / or Segway wheelchair was used after technical advice of the integration office. The Segway wheelchair is actually based on the well-known Segway technology. The locomotion takes place and only on two wheels and the wheelchair balances itself thanks to its special technology, so it does not tip over. The drive of the wheelchair is controlled by shifting the weight forwards or backwards and the direction of travel is determined by slight horizontal movement of the handlebar. For this, the wheelchair user has to expend only very little force. With the Segway wheelchair, he is also more mobile on the construction sites and can move there independently on uneven and rising ground. The wheels of the new wheelchair are driven separately, so that the driver can turn on the spot and thus has a small turning radius.
In order to load and unload the Segway wheelchair into the vehicle, the man still needs help. First of all, the back of the vehicle had to be folded back, the backrest and handlebar of the wheelchair had to be folded down and finally the wheelchair had to be transported into the vehicle. However, since there was no guarantee that one person would always be able to help the engineer, he decided to buy a new company car in a combination with a correspondingly large cargo space and an additionally installed wheelchair lift as a loading aid, so that he could independently reach more distant appointments.
The wheelchair lift is mounted in the cargo compartment of the new station wagon. With a remote control, the lift is brought into position via a built-in electric motor. The Segway wheelchair, with its seat and steering wheel folded beforehand, is hooked to the rope of the lift with the aid of a lifting strap, transported to the appropriate height by the remote control, and then electromotively swung onto the cargo bed, leaving the Segway wheelchair to be used by the engineer in the trunk can be stowed.

Assistive devices used:

Auxiliary for loading or unloading a wheelchair without a user in or on a motor vehicle
electric wheelchairs
Segway wheelchairs
Keyboards (small field keyboards)
input software
Computer pointing device (roll bar mouse)
work tables
Work and office chairs

Support and participation:

The electric wheelchair was promoted by the health insurance company to compensate for the disability and for the participation in the society. The disability-friendly design of the office workplace as well as the adjustments to compensate for the limited mobility were promoted by the Integration Office. The advice was provided by the engineering specialist service for disability-friendly work design of the integration office - the so-called technical advisory service. For the correct motor vehicle adaptation a special company was called in for the conversion.
Google Übersetzer für Unternehmen:Translator Toolkit



  • environment /
  • wheelchair /
  • engineer /
  • wheelchair lifting aid /
  • wheelchair loading /
  • car equipment /
  • employer /
  • working equipment /
  • office chair /
  • working environment /
  • access to workplace /
  • construction engineer /
  • advice /
  • screen /
  • computer workplace /
  • office /
  • office equipment /
  • electric wheelchair /
  • driving /
  • remote control /
  • building construction /
  • physical disability /
  • motor vehicle /
  • mouse /
  • mobility /
  • mobility aid /
  • wheelchair loading aid /
  • software /
  • speech input /
  • speech control /
  • chair /
  • keyboard /
  • participation /
  • participation in working life /
  • lifting aid /
  • employment /
  • EASTIN /
  • full-time job /
  • entrepreneur /
  • worktable /
  • table /
  • desk /
  • work chair /
  • input device /
  • screen work /
  • barrier-freedom /
  • access route /
  • stand up /
  • brain /
  • spine /
  • spinal cord /
  • small-size keyboard /
  • mouse control /
  • office work /
  • head set /
  • vocational rehabilitation /
  • best practice /
  • Segway wheelchair /
  • digitalization /
  • body posture and body part movement /
  • mobility and locomotion /
  • environmental influences, safety and loads /
  • intervertebral disk lesion /
  • office for vocational integration /
  • medical insurance /
  • walking impairment /
  • Wheelchair-driver /
  • motor impairment /
  • hand impairment /
  • back illness /
  • neurological disease /
  • multiple sclerosis /
  • service /
  • building technic /
  • field work /
  • body posture /
  • standing /
  • walking /
  • motoricity /
  • finger hand movement /
  • reaching area /
  • body load /
  • shoulder arm movement /
  • workplace design /
  • technical advice /
  • barrier-free design /
  • assistive product /
  • working environment design /
  • car adaptation

update status: 07.02.2018

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