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Project EGSB

Successful professionals who are deaf or hard of hearing - Working and living environments, stories of education, and persons


In recent decades, the situation of people who are deaf or hard of hearing has decisively improved. This is due to a variety of developments in the medical, technical, pedagogical, linguistic, and sociological sector as well as by a number of trend-setting legislative activities (e.g. the Social Act Nine (SGB IX) in Germany or Equality Acts). Despite the efforts of society and politics, deaf and hard of hearing people still experience disadvantages and problems because of their aggravated communicative conditions they are exposed to as a result of their reduced ability to hear in a hearing world. Especially in the field of occupational training and work, they face complications in many ways. These are described in numerous papers but are only partly comprehensively analysed and understood in terms of the consequences for the people concerned.


  • Methods of qualitative social research are used to figure out the factors that make deaf or hard of hearing persons extraordinary successful in their jobs, taking into account their life and educational context, their personal resources and inter-personal experiences.
  • The results are published as accessible as possible, also for smartphones and tablet computers, via the German internet portal imhplus.de. In particular the need of employers for targeted information is considered.
  • Recommendations for person-centred processes and interventions are elaborated for occupational training, for work and - with a preventive intention - for the pre-occupational education.


The the overall goal of the project is to contribute to the improvement of the occupational training and job situation of deaf and hard of hearing people by a qualitative analysis of biographical experiences of those of the target group who are successful in their jobs. This analysis is based on recent theoretical and practical concepts which focus on the empowerment of persons. It is essential to recognize and to promote favouring factors of personal and occupational development as early as possible and to use this knowledge in educational offers.

The project aims at

  • the specific empowerment of relevant personal characteristics and social structures,
  • the gaining of knowledge for the pedagogical guidance and support of young people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and
  • the elaboration of recommendations for educational goals in terms of social participation.


  • Development of an accessible, “multi-lingual” German internet portal with information in
    • general intelligible language,
    • academic language,
    • simplified language, and
    • German sign language.
  • Implementation of the website in responsive design for different devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.
  • Integration of videos in sign language in an accessible way.
  • Accessible and comprehensible presentation of complex survey data.

Project Partners

  • Pädagogische Hochschule Heidelberg (project leader: Prof. Dr. Manfred Hintermair)


7/2013 - 6/2016


by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs


Dipl.-Inform. Frank Reins



www.wgsb-projekt.de. (German)

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