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Case Study Accessible design for a watchmaker


The employer runs a specialist shop for watches and jewellery with an associated repair workshop. The workshop specialises mainly in the repair of antique watches.

Disability and functional limitation of the employee:

The man has a muscle disease which leads to a severe walking disability. He has very limited ability to climb stairs and walk longer distances. Due to the progressive nature of the illness, it must be assumed that he will be dependent on the constant use of a wheelchair at some point in the future.

Training and job:

The man is a watchmaker and works for the employer in his learned job.

Workplace and work environment:

The watchmaker's duties primarily include repairing watches in the workshop and, in the absence of the owner, serving customers on the shop floor. The workshop is located under the business premises in the basement and can be reached directly from the rear of the house, from a suitably low-lying yard area. A steep ramp leads down to this yard area, but it is accessible by motor vehicles. From the workshop in the basement, a narrow and steep spiral staircase leads up to the business premises on the ground floor. Due to disability, the watchmaker is unable to climb these stairs to the ground floor. In order to be able to advise customers in the absence of the shop owner or to be able to make minor changes to watches, for example, the watchmaker is forced to drive his car up the ramp to the entrance of the shop in order to reach the sales rooms on the ground floor smoothly from here. This procedure is very cumbersome and time-consuming. For this reason, a passenger lift was added to the outside of the building on the courtyard side, already wheelchair accessible. In this way, the employee can easily and quickly get from the workshop to the business premises and back at any time.

Assistive products used:

Further Information

The design suitable for disabled people was supported by the Integration and Inclusion Office. Advice was provided by the engineering service for work design suitable for disabled people of the Integration and Inclusion Office - the so-called Technical Advisory Service.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 6 Nov 2013