“My disability doesn’t make any difference”
Scheurich’s disability is not really noticeable. Many of his colleagues are very surprised when he tells them about it. Scheurich has suffered from cataracts ever since birth. Before he was even a year old, the lenses of his eyes were surgically removed. At the age of nine he contracted another eye disease.
Today Scheurich’s vision is about 20 percent. He can see an object from two meters away as well as a normal person could see the same object from ten meters away. “For me, everything is smaller and only two-dimensional – like television,” he says. Other people in this situation often are forced to turn to typical occupations for the visually impaired. Scheurich, however, chose another path. He regards his disability as a challenge to overcome – and has become a sought-after IT professional. His creed is as follows: “As someone who is visually impaired, I always have to be one step ahead if I want to have a chance.”
"The only question related to my vision that came up at the interview was, ‘What can we do to support you?’”
As a child Scheurich was hard-working and ambitious. He transferred from a boarding school for the visually impaired to a “normal” school and earned a secondary-school diploma. He wanted to be a sound technician, but, paradoxically, due to his visual impairment he was not suited for that job. He then applied for jobs in office administration, but he was turned down again and again. “When I read between the lines, it was pretty obvious that my disability was playing a role,” he recalls. Finally he began a business training course at a private educational institution for blind and visually impaired students in Stuttgart. He completed an internship at a fashion store in Stuttgart and then, two days before his training was completed, he got his first job offer. The head of the IT department invited Scheurich to join the IT team, even though large monitors and other aids for the visually impaired were still pretty much unheard of in 1989. In 2012 he joined DFS. Here his disability has never been an issue: “The only question related to my vision that came up at the interview was, ‘What can we do to support you?’”
Scheurich uses a special camera installed on his laptop to help him see visual elements and to scan small print in order to read it on the Screen. “Otherwise my job is completely normal,” he says. “My colleagues take my situation into account, of course.” He doesn’t have any problem with people asking him for his disability: “Every question is welcome – it’s the best way to get to know people.” Scheurich has come to terms with his situation in a very positive way: “My motto is: change what you can’t accept, and accept what you can’t change."