What makes A&R Textil’s individual products even more special? For light assembly work, we bring people with disabilities on board for certain products. This is the result of 15 years of cooperation with the Workshop for People with Disabilities (WfbM) of the Liebenau Foundation, a social, health and education company in the Lake Constance region.
A meaningful activity for people with disabilities
It is Monday afternoon, 3 p.m. when we visit the 24 employees of the WfbM working group, who – mostly with great pleasure – accessorise A&R Textil textile products with snap fasteners. Thorsten Magida comes right up to us, greets us with a handshake and the information that he still remembers his visit to A&R Textil some time ago. He proudly shows us his workplace, where he checks if all snap fasteners have been fixed correctly. To be on the safe side, he knocks on everyone again with a hammer.
No matter if you are with or without disability – recognition is important
Bruno Stemmer, responsible for work preparation at WfbM, explains us: “For people with disabilities it is just as important to work as for people without disabilities, to have a regular routine and thus to have recognition and a place in our society.”
For everyone the job he / she can do
The WfbM employees receive their work depending on their individual abilities and preferences. There is, for example, Irmgard Schaeffeler, who can carry out all necessary work on our product and finish it on her own. However, some employees have difficulty fixing the snap fastener because they do not have enough strength to do so. No problem – the solution is teamwork! Everyone does what they can. In our case, the weaker employees thread the snap fasteners, others press them down.
Identification with products
The employees of the working group like routine work and identify with “their” products. For this reason, the same products are always assigned to the individual working groups whenever possible. However, minor changes, such as changes in the colour of textiles, are enthusiastically accepted by employees. Seray Yildiz, group leader of the WfbM group, reports that there is a “WfbM retiree” who regularly visits the group, who is happy when there are enough textiles to accessorise and who still contributes his service. “If we work on other products, he will go home,” she says with a smile.
Creating WfbM jobs with easy work
Stemmer recalls the beginnings of the cooperation when A&R Textil approached WfbM with an assembly enquiry. It was tested, which work steps can be taken over by the employees, then orders came one by one. “For us it is important that there are companies that do not automate such activities. With the help of these companies, we can maintain WfbM jobs or create even more.”