skip to main contentskip to main menuskip to footer Universität Bielefeld Play Search
  • Accessibility Services

    Logo der ZAB, bunte Kreise mit Schriftzug Zentrale Anlaufstelle Barrierefrei
    PC workstation with Braille keyboard
    © ZAB - Bielefeld University

Workplace equipment

Braille keyboard
© ZAB - Bielefeld University

Some employees or trainees benefit from assistive technologies and aids to compensate for disability-related limitations in the performance of their professional tasks and to reduce corresponding barriers. The options for equipping the workplace are diverse and always depend on the specific needs of the individual. Portable aids and / or permanently installed technical work aids as well as furniture that meets special ergonomic requirements beyond the standard equipment can be considered.

Some aids can be tried out at the ZAB and, depending on current availability, borrowed on a temporary basis as needed.

Who is eligible?

Blind student
© ZAB - Bielefeld University

In principle, all employees and trainees of the university who are threatened by a disability, chronically ill or have the same status, or who have an officially recognized (severe) disability, have a right to an accessible workplace.

Employees with a severe disability or recognized equal generally have a legal claim against the employer to have their workplace equipped with individually required aids or assistive technologies. The costs of these arrangements are borne by the university. In the case of more extensive technical adaptations or conversions, it can apply for financial support from the rehabilitation agencies or the Inclusion Office.

Employees without an officially recognized severe disability or equality can also assert their entitlement to aids or workplace equipment, provided they are (temporarily) threatened by a disability, e.g. as a result of the consequences of an accident or due to a chronic illness, and can prove this with a medical certificate.

Application for the assumption of costs

PC with Braille keyboard
© ZAB - Bielefeld University

If aids or modifications are necessary to ensure Accessibility at the workplace, an application can be made to cover the costs.

For each application, the following must be clarified in each individual case

  • whether the aid will be used exclusively at the workplace or also privately,
  • whether the employee or the employer is making the application,
  • which cost unit is responsible.

The following information provides an insight into the application for aids. It is no substitute for personal consultation! Employees and trainees who wish to obtain individual workplace equipment should always first contact the responsible offices on campus.

The following minimum requirements must be met in order for costs to be covered:

  • the aids are required due to a health-related functional impairment (e.g., the presence of a visual impairment)
  • the aids compensate for functional impairments or disadvantages in professional activities caused by the disability (e.g. a large-print keyboard in the case of a visual impairment).

Depending on the individual requirements, type and purpose of the aids, different cost units come into question. An initial orientation is provided by the rehabilitation responsibility navigator of the Federal Working Group for Rehabilitation. Possible cost units are in detail e.g.

Aids for the exercise of professional activity are to be distinguished from medical aids for coping with everyday life (e.g. a cochlear implant or temporarily required walking aids). The latter usually fall under academic achievements of medical rehabilitation, are medically prescribed and mostly financed by the health insurance or rehabilitation providers.

Inclusion representative of the employer

According to § 181 SGB IX, the university as an employer is obliged to appoint at least one inclusion officer. The representative represents the employer in all matters concerning severely disabled employees and is the contact person for severely disabled employees on the employer's side.

The central task of the inclusion officer is to ensure that the university fulfills its legal obligations towards severely disabled employees. This includes, for example, monitoring the employment obligation of severely disabled persons and persons with equal rights. In case of conflict, the inclusion officer works towards a reconciliation of interests between the employee and the employer.

If possible, the inclusion officer should be severely disabled or have equal status in order to be able to contribute disability-specific experience to the work.

If necessary, the inclusion officer works together with the representatives of the severely disabled, the Staff Councils, the Integration Offices and the Federal Employment Agency of Germany. He/she is subject to the duty of confidentiality.

back to top