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Case Study
Surveying technician for a city administration


The employer is a city government.

Disability and functional limitation of the employee:

The woman is deaf and has a visual impairment that can be compensated with a visual aid or glasses. She is unable to perceive auditory information, such as spoken language and signals. Due to her handicap, audible information must be altered in such a way that the woman can perceive it optically or tactilely. She is only able to speak to a very limited extent. Verbal communication is only possible if she can see the lips of the person she is talking to well enough to read them and if the person speaks slowly and clearly. This is especially difficult when she encounters people or they are further away. In this case, only glasses can be used as a visual aid, which also allows appropriate distance vision. The GdB (degree of disability) is 100. The severely disabled person's identity card bears the symbol Gl.

Transition from school to job:

The woman attended a special school for deaf and hard of hearing people. She actually wanted to become an IT specialist, but a job counsellor at the employment agency recommended the job of a surveying technician. The recommendation was based on her better aptitude for this profession. First she completed an internship at the surveying office and then vocational training as a surveying technician with the employer. After passing the final examination, she was permanently employed as a clerk for the land registry office.

Workplace and work task:

The surveying technician works at a computer workstation in an office of the land registry office. She processes applications for land divisions and checks measurement results of building surveys for accuracy and transfers the data (measured values and coordinates) to special software for recording.

Work organisation:

Communication with the surveying technician takes place via speech in connection with lip reading, gestures, in writing (short notes for explanation, e-mail, etc.) and drawing (short sketches for explanation). For verbal communication, supervisors and colleagues speak slowly as well as in short simple sentences, making sure that their face or mouth can be easily seen by the surveyor. She handles appointments and communication with outsiders via email. For new program introductions, trainings and meetings (works meeting and meeting of severely disabled persons), the woman usually uses a sign language interpreter. In addition, she usually receives training materials in advance so that she can prepare herself. In the case of training courses that contain technical terms and whose contents cannot be translated by a sign language interpreter, or can only be translated incorrectly, certain colleagues help by providing underlays in easy read. These underlays are also gladly used by other colleagues, as complex contents are explained in an easily understandable way.

Self-report of the employee on job integration:
According to an interview with the employee, she is very satisfied with the general communication with her colleagues. She appreciates the way they try to facilitate her communication with expressive facial expressions and short concise sentences. In connection with written and drawn supplements, the cooperation and communication works very well according to the woman's own assessment. The sign language interpreter is used at training courses and meetings. However, the woman would like the sign language interpreter to be made available to a greater extent for further seminars and training courses or to be supported by the integration or inclusion office. In her opinion, she misses important information events in which hearing colleagues can participate due to the often unapproved use of the interpreter.

Assistive products used:

Further Information

The costs for translation by the sign language interpreter are covered by the integration or inclusion office. In addition, the Office for Integration and Inclusion sponsored the glasses to improve the visibility of the mouth for communication or lip reading of people who are further away.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 28 Nov 2019