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The inclusion of deaf people into the first job market remains very difficult to this day. Many deaf people cannot find a workplace at all or have professions that neither reflects their interests nor their abilities. One reason for this is the dominant use of spoken and written language in career guidance and diagnosis.

  Overview of ATBG-Test Battery

The project ATBG „Aachen Test Battery of Vocational Aptitude of the Deaf“ tries to counter this grievance by improving the whole process occupation orientation with the help of sign language. One main focus of the work was the development of a computer-based vocational aptitude testing test battery consisting of 26 individual tests that can be assigned to the fields 1. Cognitive abilities, 2. Cognitive skills, 3. Linguistic competence and skills and 4. Personality traits. (cf. fig. 1)


With the help of multimedia involvement of sign language the tests have been adapted to the needs of deaf people. All test instructions can be retrieved in German sign language (DGS) or in manually coded language (LBG). Video recordings signed by a “native signer” in DGS respectively by an interpreter in LBG can be displayed with a simple mouse-click.

  Sceenshots from ATBG Copyright: © SignGes

Linguistic test items are translated in every single subtest as well with the exception of written language tests in which the degree of written language competence is the subject of investigation. By using a computer- and multimedia-based test battery, a sophisticated recording and automatic evaluation (cf. fig. 3) of capacities, skills and job-relevant personality traits of deaf people is possible for the first time.


The pilot study with the ATBG is embedded in a frame concept of career choice. Sign language is used during all stages of the consultation to ensure transparent consultations for deaf job seekers. If necessary, a sign language interpreter will be of assistance.


By using German sign language during the entire career counselling, information concerning the career choice are presented in a more comprehensible way. This gives the job seeker an autonomous decision regarding his or her career choice.



ATBG was approved in 1995. The official support ended in 2002. However, the ATBG-Project is still being maintained within the VIBELLE-Project.



The project was supported with means from the countervailing charge of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.



Dr. Klaudia Grote, Dr. Ulla Louis-Nouvertné, Dr. Wiebke Iversen, Dr. Florian Kramer, Horst Sieprath, Isa Werth, Sandra Lintz, Benno Hermes, Uwe Zelle u.v.a. (siehe Acknowledgement)




  • Grote, K.; Louis-Nouvertné, U. & Sieprath, H. (1997): Aachener Testverfahren zur Berufseignung von Gehörlosen (ATBG). In: Das Zeichen 11: 39 - pp. 80-88
  • Huber, W., Sieprath H. und Werth, I. (2000): Sprachdiagnostik in der Deutschen Gebärdensprache, in DAS ZEICHEN: Nr. /2000 oder 2001
  • Jäger, L.; Grote, K. & Louis-Nouvertné, U. (1999): Multimedia und die Sprache der Gehörlosen. In: Walter, R.& Rauhut, B. (Hrsg.). Horizonte. Die RWTH auf dem Weg ins 21. Jahrhundert. Springer-Verlag Heidelberg. (421-428)
  • Kramer, F. (2007): Kulturfaire Berufseignungsdiagnostik bei Gehörlosen und daraus abgeleitete Untersuchungen zu den Unterschieden der Rechenfertigkeiten bei Gehörlosen und Hörenden. Dissertation an der RWTH-Aachen
  • Werth, I., Kramer, F. & Grote, K. (2004), Cognitive Abilities and Skills of Deaf Signers with Deaf Parents vs. Hearing Parents compared to Hearing Non-signers Paper presented at the Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.



ATBG-Abschlussbericht 1997

ATBG-Abschlussbericht 2002


ATBG Zwischenbericht 1996

ATBG Zwischenbericht 1997

ATBG Zwischenbericht 1998

ATBG Zwischenbericht 1999

ATBG Zwischenbericht 2000

ATBG Zwischenbericht 2001

ATBG Zwischenbericht 2002