Case Study
Vehicle adaptation for delivery staff with arm disabilities at Deutsche Post DHL Group

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Deutsche Post DHL Group is a global logistics and mail communication company with around 570,000 employees in over 220 countries. The Deutsche Post DHL Group includes Deutsche Post - as a pan-European postal service company and DHL - as a global company in the areas of international express shipping, freight transport, e-commerce and supply chain management. The company provides, among other things, With responsible action, targeted environmental protection measures and corporate citizenship, we make a positive contribution to the environment and society.

1. Employee:

Disability and functional limitation:

He has had an absent right hand since birth. He does not use a prosthesis. Because he is one-handed his area of reach and manipulation of loads is restricted. His degree of disability is 60. Training and job: He completed training with his employer as a specialist in letter and parcel delivery. To compensate for his disability the final examination was modified i.e. the examination time was increased. He has worked as a mail deliverer since successfully completing the training.

2. Employee:

Disability and functional limitation:

He has a right brachial palsy (paralysis of all muscles of the arm due to damage of the plexus between the spine and armpit). Due to the brachial palsy he also is restricted in his area of reach as well as in the manipulation of objects. His degree of disability is 80. Training and job: He has worked for many years as a qualified postman (letter and parcel deliverer) for his employer.

3. Employee:

Disability and functional limitation:

A work accident many years ago led to a disability of his right arm. The arm disability also leads to restrictions in his area of reach and in the manipulation of objects. The degree of disability is 80. Training and job: Until his accident he worked as a specialist worker in forestry. After his medical rehab he changed to his current employer, where he has been employed for many years as a qualified postman.

Workplace and duties:

The three postmen are each responsible for different areas. Each morning in the high-tech mail sorting center of the Bayreuth MAIL Branch, they sort letters and parcels according to their post run, before they begin with their deliveries. Because of the volume of mail the delivery takes place with the aid of company vehicles. The company vehicles were adapted to the disabilities with one-handed operation by for example: - an automatic gearbox - a steering wheel spinner knob, - a remote control on the steering wheel for hooter, lights, windscreen wipers, indicator, etc. - an electric emergency brake (handbrake) and - placing the ignition switch as well as the indicator switch on the left One postman prefers operating the indicator to switch placed on the left, as he has problems operating the remote control. These measures also serve as an example for other adaptions for disability-friendly design of service vehicles in: - MAIL Branch Gießen for a deliverer with a prosthesis of his right forearm (by an additional installing of a start-/stop automatic for the motor on the left side on the steering-wheel) - MAIL Branch Dortmund for four deliverers with a vertebral spine disorder (by the installing of an orthopedic driver’s seat) - MAIL Branch Munster for a deliverer with a amputated lower leg on his right side (by a provision of an automatic vehicle and the installation of the accelerator on the left side) - MAIL Branch Rosenheim for an employee with multiple sclerosis (MS) from the house service who can activate control elements only with her hands (by leasing an automatic vehicle and the transformation of the brake and gas to manual operation, which was transformed in 2014and she is still driving)

Assistive devices used:

vehicle accessories and vehicle adaptations vehicle accessories and vehicle adaptations to control brake and engage or disengage parking brake vehicle accessories and vehicle adaptations to operate steering system accessories and adaptations to complementary functions necessary to operate vehicles seats and cushions for motor vehicles and accessories and adaptations relating to seating invehicles

Work organization:

Organizationally their work volume was reduced. The work volume would normally fill for example for the usual 31 working hours – for which they have a weekly working time of 38.5 hours. The reduction of work volume was recognized as an extraordinary financial burden (decreased output) by the Office for vocational integration.

Funding and participation:

The co-ordination of professional participation in the branch was carried out by the employer's inclusion officer and the representatives of the severely disabled. For example, the representatives of the severely disabled contacted the following providers and worked with them to adapt to the needs of the disabled: - Employment agency (wage subsidy for professional integration), - Employer's liability insurance association (aid funding), - German pension insurance (aid funding) and - Integration or Inclusion Office (job security allowance, technical advice and aid funding). In this way, the jobs could be permanently secured.

Keywords and Further Information

No information about funding available.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 14 Apr 2021