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Vocational integration for a clerk with blindness at the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln


The Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln is a membership organization whose members are business and employers' associations as well as large individual companies. The Institute operates in its areas of expertise (eg labor market and labor market, vocational qualifications and professionals, vocational rehabilitation and participation) scientific and journalistic work and conducts numerous research and projects.

Disability and functional impairment of the employee:

The employee is blind from birth. For him, therefore optical information must be converted so that they can be tactile with your fingers (eg Braille) or perceived acoustically. The degree of disability is 100th

Training and job:

The man studied after graduating from high school, first education, then moved to 2.5 years but to his training as a specialist in media / information services at the German Broadcasting Archive. During the training, he completed two internships in which he gained his first professional experience in the area of ??accessibility to communication and use of information by electronic means for people with disabilities. His tasks included on the one hand the testing of aids or assistive technologies and secondly to test the accessibility and usability of a special online service for people with a visual impairment or blindness. Upon successful completion of the training he was 1.5 years unemployed. The Employment Agency and the integration service (IFD) could offer no appropriate places him first. At a congress he met his future employer with whom he competed initiative after a few calls and was hired after the interview as a clerk for the accessibility of the internet for people with disabilities to vocational participation.

Workplace and work task:

The clerk working at a computer workstation in an office with several colleagues (Figure 1). He is responsible for the coordination of seminars, market research of new tools for people with visual impairment or blindness, working with colleagues from the EDP to the barrier-free design of online services.
The VDU workstation was to compensate for the disability-related limitations:
- A Braille display,
- A screen reader,
- A headset,
- A scanner with OCR text recognition and
- A Braille printer in a soundproof Cart
equipped (Figure 2).
In the workplace They also offer an ergonomic keyboard, a flat screen and a mouse. These tools can be used by sighted colleagues in the representation case if it should be necessary. The flat screen also serves to ensure that the agent, for example with the sighted colleagues directly at his workplace can discuss professional to the online offerings - Himself nutz The Braille display in conjunction with the screen reader (software) as the output medium. The Braille display converts to using the screen reader, the optical contents of the screen in Braille or information to computer, which can be read by touch with fingers. Alternatively, it can be read via the voice output and the contents of headphones also. Other colleagues are not disturbed during the benefit of speech through the headphone use. Entries are made using one from the clerk preferred ergonomic keyboard using the 10-finger system, which is otherwise used by sighted people. The ergonomic keyboard is on the bearing surface of the Braille display, which has been enlarged due to the low depth with a specially-built extension (Figure 3).
Incoming mail and paper documents scans the clerk and digitizes it (Figure 4). By using an OCR text recognition then the content can be read using the Braille display and the screen reader also tactile with your fingers or spend on the headphones.
In meetings he uses his smartphone dictation for later production of written protocols. Should he notes need (eg for meetings / conferences) so he can leave this issue on the Braille printer (Figure 5).

Labour Organisation:

For simple tasks (eg copying documents, prepare seminar invoices for shipping) is the clerk, if necessary, a job assistance available, which is taken over by student assistants in exchange.

Work environment - mobility:

The staff did a about 20 hours mobility training to his commute by public transport and using a long stick automatically to cover (Figure 6). At trade fairs the employee stands next to a notebook a smaller mobile Braille display with 40 characters available.


In the event of evacuation (as in fire) an evacuation plan with partner model was created. During the evacuation a defined colleague from the office accompanied the clerk on the escape route to the outside. There are several colleagues or substitutes, so that in case of a disease is always a partner present. The implementation of the plan or the evacuation has been and will continue in conventional fire drills trained with him.

Assistive devices used:

Taststöcke or white canes
Sound reproducing apparatus (voice recorders)
Tactile computer displays (Braille displays)
Printer (embosser)
Special edition software (screen readers)


The material necessary for readjustment to compensate for the disability-related restrictions and the special training required to use any software (operating system, word processing and e-mail) was funded by the Federal Employment Agency. As the agent for several years with the employer is now active and it (etc. operating system, word processing) gave updates in the software sector, had also done an update for the screen reader and re-training. The promotion has been taken over by this Integration Office, which also promotes job assistance.
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  • sensory disorder /
  • computer workplace /
  • screen work /
  • office work /
  • screen /
  • software /
  • input device /
  • computer /
  • output device /
  • EASTIN /
  • working equipment /
  • work task /
  • employment /
  • participation in working life /
  • participation /
  • full-time job /
  • employer /
  • employee /
  • vocational rehabilitation /
  • eye /
  • braille /
  • braille printer /
  • braille display /
  • screenreader /
  • speech output /
  • mobility /
  • white stick /
  • text recognition /
  • text recognition software /
  • scanner /
  • dictaphone /
  • notebook /
  • notes /
  • public transport /
  • keyboard /
  • printer /
  • use means of transport /
  • access to workplace /
  • organisation /
  • environment /
  • working environment /
  • best practice /
  • new hire /
  • umemployment /
  • safety /
  • evacuation /
  • brand /
  • digitalization /
  • information and communication /
  • learning and knowledge application /
  • mobility and locomotion /
  • soft skills and social behaviour /
  • labour office /
  • office for vocational integration /
  • blindness /
  • office /
  • visualize /
  • information perception /
  • information output /
  • independence /
  • reading /
  • workplace design /
  • work organisation /
  • industrial safety /
  • care /
  • wage costs subsidy /
  • assistive product /
  • working environment design /
  • mobility training /
  • personal support

update status: 12.06.2018

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