Case Study
Consumer Service Agentin bei einem Verlag

There is an image available for this case study:


The employer is a publisher with approximately 2000 employees.

Disability and functional restriction of the employee:

The employee has had hearing loss since childhood as a result of otitis media. Since she has a residual hearing capacity of around 10 percent, the employee is able to perceive acoustic information with the aid of her hearing aids - but depending on the type (frequency) and the ambient conditions. Furthermore, by reading the lips in combination with the hearing aids, she can partially compensate for her reduced hearing.

Training and job:

After graduating from high school, the woman studied German and sociology. Due to a long stay in the clinic, however, she had to drop out of her studies. Subsequently, she started a temporary job with today's employer. Her supervisor at the time campaigned for an extension of the activity until the beginning of the next training cycle. After all, she started an apprenticeship as a publishing clerk there many years ago and has worked for the employer since then - now as a Consumer Services Agent.

Workplace and duties:

As part of her job, she takes care of customer concerns at her computer workstation as a consumer services agent in the open-plan office. B. about service requests in connection with the online shop. For this purpose, she has several hours of direct customer contact every day on the phone or by email. At the workplace and for making calls, she uses her hearing aids for acoustic perception, using a special and particularly loud headset (see picture) to make calls. There are restrictions with regard to communication in the open-plan office if many colleagues speak or make calls on the phone at the same time and the noise level increases. In this case, the employee then asks her current interlocutor on the phone for the last statement. In personal discussions with colleagues, the disability with the aid of hearing aids and the ability to read lips does not represent any restriction.

Work Organization:

Because of the special burdens associated with telephoning for the employee and the resulting fatigue, telephoning was reduced considerably compared to her colleagues. The manager also accepts the recovery times required.

Employee comment on inclusion:

The employee is very satisfied with her work and has learned to recognize her limits better today than in the past. However, she would have wished that appropriate help had been offered earlier and not only as soon as serious problems arose. The works council, personnel officer and company doctor made a decisive contribution to making work easier. But above all, the development of the technical possibilities has been in their favor over the course of their many years of activity. The hearing systems are now more sophisticated, easier to update, smaller and less susceptible to noise. Of course, they also feel pressure when trying to keep up with colleagues and occasional lack of understanding for the more frequent breaks.

Assistive devices used:

Behind-the-ear hearing aids headset

Keywords and Further Information

Funding and participation:

The integration or inclusion office with its technical advisory service, the company doctor and the works council accompanied the professional inclusion. The hearing aids were funded by the statutory health insurance company with a fixed amount. Advice on the hearing aids and the adaptation of the hearing aids was provided by a specialist shop for hearing acoustics.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 12 Dec 2019