A strong duo: four fists as a greeting
When you see Andreas Peppe and Sven Zimmerer crossing the site together, if the discussions get heated you might see fists fly. But not because the pair are getting aggressive with one another – on the contrary: instead of communicating with words, Andreas and Sven use signing. Andreas is deaf and Sven is hard of hearing.
Andreas Peppe has worked for 22 years at Krones. On a normal working day in the labeller order processing team, he creates drawings and assemblies, maintains parts lists or devotes his time to customer change requests. And it all happens without a word – Andreas is one of a total of six hearing-impaired employees at Krones in Neutraubling. For someone who is hearing-impaired, the simplest day-to-day things can sometimes become very complicated. But for the past four years, Andreas has been able to count on support: In 2011, Sven Zimmerer started to train as a technical product designer. Sven is himself hard of hearing and attended a school for the deaf, where he learned sign language. Using webcams and with Sven’s support, Andreas can communicate much more easily with colleagues. The two men can now often be seen around together. In Sven, Andreas has not only found a new friend, but a new enjoyment of life as well: he can now work better and more quickly – which makes him happier and more satisfied.
Around Regensburg without a word
In addition to working with Krones, Andreas Peppe also gives courses as a sign language tutor, and he is Chairman of the Schwandorf Society for the Deaf. But that’s not enough for him. For the past five years, Andreas has been a tour guide, showing other hearing-impaired persons the historic sites in and around Regensburg. His interest in telling other people about culture is rooted in his childhood. His father showed him many things on their travels all over Europe. “But why so far away?” Andreas asked himself in 2008. He hit on the idea of teaching about culture right here in his home region – Regensburg and its surrounding area offer rich possibilities.
For five years, Andreas has guided groups of up to 15 tourists through the old town, past the medieval patrician towers, over the Steinerne Brücke and to the cathedral – and also out of town to Walhalla and the Hall of Liberation. Andreas is booked around 20 times a year for signed city tours. Each tour is a fresh challenge. He is always excited about meeting his group: can I get them to appreciate the things I really want to get across? Hopefully, everything goes well in the narrow streets between the circulating cars – because his “touris” need to be able to see him at all times, so they may not be concentrating as much on their surroundings.
And Andreas would like to do even more for the hearing-impaired. He already has his next project in mind: Theatre performances for the deaf – it’s already happening in Hamburg!