Case Study
Employment of people with disabilities at WDR in the mailroom

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The Westdeutscher Rundfunk or WDR employs around 4,300 people in just under 150 professions. a in the areas of administration, commercial professions, editing, technology and IT. In the context of employment, diversity and inclusion - especially of people with severe disabilities or equality - play an important role. This is particularly supported by the promotion of employment and the implementation of equal opportunities, whereby, for example, instruments such as a target agreement on accessibility and company integration management help to put this into practice.

Disability and functional restriction of employees:

Employees have a physical disability, for example due to cardiovascular and back illnesses or a mental illness, and are severely disabled and treated as people with severe disabilities. Due to the physical disability and its effects, they can only be used to a limited extent for activities that require lifting, carrying and bending over. With regard to mental illness, frequently changing tasks, especially under time / performance pressure or negative stress, should be avoided.

Training and job:

The employees in the post office with severe disabilities or equal opportunities have different qualifications - from assistants to specialists. They were trained for the tasks in the post office at the beginning of their work.

Work organization:

Some of the employees previously worked in other areas and were transferred to the post office, because the working conditions there lead to less stress and physical work for you due to repetitive processes or the possible use of lifting and transport aids, making them more suitable are.

Workplace and duties:

The employees work in the post office, which is located in one of the twelve buildings on the ground floor and can be reached at ground level via an entrance. Consignments (letters, magazines, books, packages and parcels) arrive at the central post office and are delivered there by external service providers or their staff. The incoming mail items are generally placed on tables in the post office by the delivery staff. Large and bulky shipments (e.g. parcels), however, are parked on the floor. In the post office, the items (letters, magazines, books, small packages) are pre-sorted for the respective buildings on the tables in mailboxes, which are of a suitable size so that they can be lifted and carried without major burdens. With regard to the correct lifting and carrying of loads, this was trained as usual in the context of health management. Not only the smaller, but also the larger shipments or parcels are sorted for further distribution. After sorting, the mailboxes and parcels are placed on smaller or larger transport or trolleys, depending on the volume of mail, whereby the larger and later heavier-loaded transport trolleys are easy to push due to their design and particularly common rollers. To put down, especially the larger and / or heavy loads (e.g. parcels), there is a so-called manipulator or lifting aid near the tables with which the loads can be placed on the trolleys without taking forced postures or high physical strength can. The lifting aid is also used to park the large parcels deposited by the external delivery personnel elsewhere in the room. To distribute the mail, the employees drive or push the transport trolleys to the adjacent buildings, to which they can reach barrier-free via corridors with automatically electrically opening / closing doors and elevators. You can reach more distant buildings with the help of special postal delivery vehicles or transport vehicles. Once there, they sort the mail for the departments and employees in the area of ​​the respective building post office into labeled shelves or place them there depending on the size. Outgoing mail is taken along accordingly and prepared for dispatch in the central post office.

Assistive devices used:

Door opener and closer Manipulators and weight balancers Hand-held industrial transport equipment Power operated industrial pedestrian transport facilities

Keywords and Further Information

Funding and participation:

The integration and inclusion office promoted the barrier-free and barrier-free design. The funding was applied for with the help of the representative for the severely disabled at the local specialist office for people with disabilities working at the integration or inclusion office. The advice on disabled work design and accessibility was provided by the representative for the severely disabled with the support of the Technical Advisory Service of the Integration and Inclusion Office.

ICF Items

Reference Number:


Last Update: 29 Apr 2021