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Case Study Barrier-free design of a school building for a teacher


The employer is a high school under a public authority/community school board.

Disability and functional limitation of the employee:

The man has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This causes progressive damage to the nerve cells responsible for muscle movement, resulting in muscle weakness and atrophy in his limbs. His mobility and posture are restricted due to his disability - this applies to walking, climbing stairs and standing (for more than 90 minutes). He uses walking aids or a walking stick to get around, so he can still walk shorter distances on firm level ground.
Body strains caused by carrying loads (e.g. underlays) should also be avoided. Carrying loads should also be avoided in relation to the use of walking aids and the risk of falling. The GdB (degree of disability) is 100. The severely disabled person's ID card contains the symbols B and G.
Due to the periods of incapacity for work within one year, a company integration management (BEM) was carried out. The measures developed and defined included a change in work organisation and a design of the working environment and workplace suitable for disabled people.

Vocational training and job:

The man has been working for the employer for several years as a teacher of mathematics and physics.

Work organisation:

The working time has been reduced to 17 teaching hours per week. The tasks assigned to him can all be carried out on one level in the rooms there. This eliminates the need to constantly change floors and the frequent need to walk.

Working environment - Mobility:

The teacher reaches the school building by car, which he parks in a designated parking space near the gymnasium. From the parking lot, he walks a short distance using his walking aids to the lift in the building with the gymnasium. He takes the lift to the ground floor level. He no longer has to climb the steep stairs at the main entrance to reach the ground floor. From the ground floor, he climbs a few steps to the main staircase and from there he climbs more steps to the first floor with his classrooms, the toilet, the secretary's office and the library. As he is no longer able to climb stairs due to his disability, he uses a special stair-climbing device with a seat for people who are not yet wheelchair-bound, which is safely parked in a special place on the ground floor and on the first floor near the steps to be climbed, with the support of a colleague. For covering the distances on the first floor and in the rooms, he uses a rollator, which also has a seat for resting, a basket for carrying underlays and a holder for the walking stick.
As there are not very many floors and steps and the building is a listed building, the stair climber was given preference over a stair seat lift - the use of which would have involved conversion work and a permanent narrowing of the stairwell.


At the workplace, the teacher was provided with an ergonomic office chair by the employer so that long periods of standing can be avoided while adopting an ergonomic sitting posture. This allows the teacher to recuperate from the stresses of standing during, for example, group work, work assignments, class work, etc.

Assistive products used:

Further Information

The barrier-free design through the use of the rollator and the stair-climbing device was funded by the Integration Office - this did not result in any economic advantage for the employer. The advice was provided by the specialist engineering service for work design suitable for disabled people of the Integration Office - the so-called Technical Advisory Service.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 12 Jun 2018