There are about 10,000 deaf people in Switzerland, with about 300 of them living in Basel. Unlike other disabilities, a deaf person doesn’t look deaf, which is why their limitations are less visible to us in everyday life. Despite its high number of deaf people, Switzerland lags behind in terms of accessibility and institutionalised services for people with hearing impairments compared to other European countries. For example, there are only a handful of associations that offer deaf people the opportunity to participate in organised sports. Sebastijan Butz has worked at Baloise for almost 20 years and is strongly committed to helping people with the same disability as him. The association “Gehörlosen Freizeit” (“Leisure for the Deaf”), which he founded, addresses the lack of services available.
We attach great importance to integrating people with disabilities into everyday working life. To date, we have been able to help over 70 people with Federal Disability Insurance training and have provided seven special apprenticeships for people with disabilities, assisting them with entering the world of work. With internal case management, high-quality ergonomic work equipment, rest rooms and various offers for physical and mental health, we support our employees with all the challenges they face in life – whether personal or professional.
Sebo Butz was born deaf and grew up in Sarajevo. He has been working in the cleaning team at Baloise’s Head Office in Basel for almost 20 years. In 2020, he had the idea of establishing an association for the deaf. An international tournament for futsal, the officially recognised small-field variation of indoor football, and darts saw him surpass all his organisation’s previous endeavours.
Organising the event took an enormous amount of time: he spent several months in contact with the participants, arranging the location of the event, the catering and much more. As a sponsor, Baloise was more than happy to support his ambitions.
«I have encountered challenges many times in my life because of my disability. That’s why it gives me all the more pleasure when I can put a smile on the faces of people who have the same problems as I do»
On 22 April 2023, 13 teams from all over europe met in the Gartenhof sports hall in Allschwil to compete against each other. The first tournament was very well received: a total of 230 players from all over the world took up the challenge. They made the journey from Romania, Hungary, Austria, France, Germany, Bosnia and Montenegro, among other countries. Over the course of two days, the seven junior teams and six adult teams played futsal and darts against each other. However, the focus was not only on sports activities, but also on socialising and having fun as a group.
More events are already planned after this resounding success. The next futsal and darts tournament is planned for 2025, with other activities in the pipeline until then.
Our employees are committed to the common good in a variety of ways, for example through their involvement in politics, sports or social activities. We have been committed to activism and volunteer work for years. This includes flexible framework conditions and appreciation for employees’ commitment to serving society, among other aspects.