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Wolfgang Scheel proudly presents his work wear. “Here I have a T-shirt, an apron and a cap as well as my working shoes. They are mandatory”, the 48-year old continues. Scheel works at myonic. In the canteen. As a dishwasher aid. He says he likes his job. What makes him especially glad is that his work is esteemed and appreciated. Scheel lives with a mental disability. Since April he has been working in this company-integrated job.

The ‘Stiftung Liebenau’ (regional charitable foundation) provided this job for him. When Scheel was six years old he moved from Bad Canstatt into the sheltered home of the ‘Stiftung Liebenau’. “My parents were alcoholics”, he told us. He went to the secondary school and then worked in several branches of the  workshop for handicapped people. “I helped in the vegetable kitchen, the bakery, the cleaning department, in wood-processing and the laundry” the 48-year old remembers. When he was around 30 years old he moved to the facility “Haus St. Katharina” in Leutkirch, then to a sheltered accommodation in the Gerbergasse and subsequently to the   Nadlerstraße. He is still living there – in a group of five residents. Upon his arrival in Leutkirch Scheel worked in a workshop for handicapped people. He wanted to become a waiter so he changed over to the catering field. “But I had bad experiences there”, Scheel continues. He therefore returned to the workshop in Leutkirch.

When the list with the job vacancies was published he registered immediately, Scheel said. “I was glad to be able to get out and see something different. Apart from Scheel three other candidates applied for the job. One of them was Beate Kraus. She suffers from the Down syndrome. “I was born in Wangen and grew up in Amtzell”, the 42-year old tells us. At some point in time problems with her parents occurred. As a juvenile she also came to the sheltered home in Liebenau. There she got to know Wolfgang Scheel. Today the two live in the same residential group – and they share their workplace. Scheel and Kraus were allowed to make a 6-week traineeship in the myonic canteen after a third candidate had cancelled his application and the fourth one was not suited. And – they were successful. „There is only one workplace“, Danja Gründler tells us . She is a job coach at the ‘Liebenauer Arbeitswelten’. „Therefore the two of them change weekly“, she continues. Scheel and Kraus are employed at the ‘Liebenau Service GmbH’. Since 1 May 2014 it supplies the myonic canteen. “Because it was a traineeship this was a test phase for us“, says Astrid Gemeiner, Head of HR at myonic. Everything worked very well. “For us as a company it is important that all the proceedings around catering for our employees run smoothly ” And that is actually the case!” Gemeiner adds. The handicapped employees are an enrichment. Ingrid Laumann and Susanne Heitzer are of the same opinion. The two canteen employees are permanently employed with  ‘Liebenau Service GmbH’. “It works perfectly with Wolfgang and Beate. They really take the pressure of us and help us” Laumann says. Job coach Danja Gründler usually drops in once a week in order to look after them. There are 25 company-integrated workplaces in the District of Ravensburg and the Bodenseekreis.

“The charitable foundation ‘Stiftung Liebenau’ possesses several workshops for handicapped people. “It is our task to support these people and help them integrate into the general employment market.” Three job coaches are of support. For Beate Kraus, for example, it was difficult to operate the dishwasher at the beginning. Therefore Gründler made a photobook with pictures and easy sentences to explain. “I can always have a look here when I need help” says Kraus. She is laughing. The 42-year old woman tells us that she was very nervous during the traineeship. “Grabbing the chance of working in the open employment market was a big step for her”, Gründler adds. Scheel and Kraus work 32.5 hours a week.

Apart from dish-washing, tasks such as watering the flowers, filling up the napkins, cleaning the tables and sweeping the floor are on the plan. ” I like to work here”, Kraus says. She enters the dish-washing corner, disinfects her hands and puts on the rubber gloves.

“Here we go”, she says. She is filling the dishwasher with the dirty dishes. Clean cutlery is polished and stored. Wolfgang Scheel, takes over these tasks during his shift. He is looking around in the canteen and says “I am really grateful to myonic that they gave us the chance to join the company although we are handicapped”. Up to now he has never had any bad experience. On the contrary. “I have found a lot of friends here. “People do not have any fear of getting into contact with us. “If someone has a question he contacts us and asks. That is nice”, Scheel adds. While he is speaking he approaches Gründler and Gemeiner. “I am glad that I got a job here for I really feel at ease in this company”, Scheel says.