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Case Study
Workplace design for an orthopaedic shoemaker


The man is himself severely disabled and runs an orthopaedic shoemaking business.

Disability and impairment:

The man's left arm has been paralysed since a private accident. Due to the disability, the grasping range as well as the holding and carrying of loads is limited.

Education and occupation:

Before his accident, the man completed training and further training to become a master orthopaedic shoemaker. Following his training, he took over an orthopaedic shoemaker's business.

Work task:

The tasks of a master orthopaedic shoemaker include sales, counselling, office work and manual activities, such as the manufacture of shoe lasts and insoles. The craft activities are among the man's main tasks.


In order for the man to continue working in his profession and keep his business, appropriate aids had to be used to compensate for the physical limitations for measuring the foot, manufacturing insoles and finishing (lasts and insoles).
For measuring the foot, a pressure measuring platform or a 3D laser scanner for photo-technical recording of the sick foot was purchased for the measuring station. The relevant data is then transferred to a PC with special CAD software. The transferred data is processed for the insoles or also lasts to be manufactured in such a way that all the necessary dimensions, also taking biomechanical influences into account, are recorded constructively on the CAD computer in the office. The result is transferred to the CNC milling machine for manufacturing the insoles or lasts. The data for the lasts can also be sent by e-mail to special last manufacturing companies. The finished lasts are then delivered by post from the manufacturing companies within a few days.
If a last or insole needs to be reworked on the bench grinder, a specially manufactured tool stand with pneumatically controlled gripping tongs is used by the master orthopaedic shoemaker to assist in this process.

Further Information

The disability-friendly design was supported by the Integration and Inclusion Office. Advice was provided by the Technical Advisory Service of the Integration and Inclusion Office.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 22 Dec 2022