Report 2014

The first DeafIT Conference on 25. October 2014 in Munich

After nearly a year of preparation, the 1st DeafIT Conference took place in the Deaf Center Munich (GMU) on 25 October 2014. An unexpectedly high number of participants with their various areas of activities in the information & technology sector came from Germany to the conference, for example software developers, project managers, entrepreneurs, freelancers etc. The number of visitors shows us that the interest and their needs for the DeafIT conference are very big.


Tobias Burz and Manuel Gnerlich from the DeafIT team lead the participants as moderators through the conference program and the exciting discussions. They also told them about the startup and background of the DeafIT conference.

DeafIT Conference 2014: The participants
DeafIT Conference 2014: The participants

Experience reports of the visitors

At the beginning of the event the participants explained their job profile and told about their own interesting as well as different experiences in their job and working life in the IT sector as hearing impaired people.


We noticed that the job spectrum in the IT sector is very diverse which has been not quite imaginable 20 years ago. There are many different jobs in the IT sector, such as software developer, project manager, community manager, graphic designer, scientist and much more. But this is only a small part of the current job offer in the IT sector, because in the past the job selection for the hearing impaired people was very limited compared to today. Nowadays hearing impaired people have improved their selves enormously because of the digital development and the greater support offer in their job life.

The presentations:

Wikisign - Wikipedia in sign language – Presentation by Kilian Knörzer
Kilian explained the technical constructs of and showed how anyone can contribute their experiences in this Wikisign and ensure for expanding it. However there are big deficits in specific terms in the sign language for various jobs in the IT sector. Therefore Kilian asked the participants to support Wikisign. (

Tess und TeleSign - Presentation by Petra Reußenzehn and Bernd Schneider:

Petra showed live on the spot using a practicable example how Tess and TeleSign work and how everyone can communicate with colleagues or customers via Telephone despite the hearing impairment.

Bernd provided a technical insight into the structure of Tess & TeleSign. The relay services are based on SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) so-called IP telephony. He convicted us to call with various devices, e.g. SIP picture phone, iPad, iPhone, Mac and PC phone. (

Deaf freelancer as Software consultant - Presentation by Manuel Gnerlich about his job profile:

How is it for a deaf person to be a freelance software consultant?

Manuel gave an insight into his experience as a deaf freelancer and showed the prerequisites for carrying out the freelancer work. He compared the freelancers and traders on the PowerPoint slides. Communication and customer acquisition are the hardest part of the freelance activity, because the deaf person has more difficult possibilities to establish contacts with the hearing people due to the shortcomings.


There is a successful way for the customer acquisition, the professional network platform XING. With XING, a network with many customers can be set up and linked, without the prior information, that the hearing impairment is indicated and the professional competences is set in the foreground.

Software Pentaho - Presentation by Stefan Halter, Solution Architect at Thomson Reuters Germany,

Stefan gave us an insight into the software products: Pentaho Business, Analytics & Data Integration - Community Edition. The participants were also informed about a current very big and interesting topic: Big Data.

He explained us what is Big Data meant for and how the data can be evaluated quickly. For example many people in a region chat with a program. From this program the chat data will be collected and evaluated. With a key word e.g. "Cold" the program can determine by the help of the collected data, in which regions most people are caught. The information is relevant to physicians or pharmacists for example to be able to act quickly and to provide the region with vaccine or medication in good time. This is an advantage, but on the other hand there are also some critical points, especially the data protection.


WebRTC - Presentation by Manuel Gnerlich:
Manuel explained us how the Web-real-time communication (Browser to Browser) works. WebRTC is built into web browsers to include video conferencing, file transfers, chats, and desktop sharing. He showed us how we hearing impaired people get this benefit and recommend using WebRTC as interesting aspect for the Tess and TeleSign Company. This may reduce the technical barrier, which we often experience with SIP, because SIP is also really a great thing but unfortunately not user friendly.

Conclusion of the conference - Get together

At the end of the DeafIT conference, all participants and the DeafIT team joined a "GetTogether" in a Bavarian restaurant "Zum Lohengrin's". In this we have continued the exchange of knowledge about IT, as well as the networking among the participants.



Many thanks to all participants, speakers for the great and interesting DeafIT Conference 2014! The DeafIT team also would like to thank the sponsors, the Gehörlosenverband München und Umland e.V., TeleSign Deutschland & CHIP Online for the support of the first DeafIT Conference 2014. We are looking forward to the next DeafIT Conference!


Text: Tobias Burz

Pictures: DeafIT

DeafIT Conference 2014 - Sponsored by

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