Discovering Hands – Turning a handicap into a talent

Discovering Hands – Turning a handicap into a talent


Discovering Hands empowers blind women to transform their handicap into an opportunity

Blind people have abilities that people without visual impairment do not have: Their sense of touch is usually much more sensitive. The Duisburg doctor Frank Hoffmann recognised that this ability can be of enormous importance in breast cancer screening. Because the services offered here are generally meagre. Screening with an X-ray machine, the mammography, is only for women over 50. However, quite a few breast cancers occur earlier.

A medical profession only blind women are capable of doing:

  • Founded by the medical doctor Frank Hoffmann in 2008, the organisation trains blind women as medical tactics examiners through its own academy, since 2015 with the support of the social entrepreneurship network Ashoka. The idea: to expand the concept so that as many women as possible benefit from it worldwide.
  • Today, Discovering Hands is a non-profit organisation that is supported by a service company of the same name. This company employs the trained Medical Tactical Examiners (MTUs), who usually work in 2-3 practices near their place of residence. One hotspot is the Discovering Hands Centre in Berlin, where six MTUs work. Altogether, there are more than 50 MTUs working in Germany today. The mark of 60 could still be cracked this year.
  • There is also a Discovering Hands off-spin in Vienna, and another is being established in Switzerland. Through the global network, there exists links to like-minded initiatives in Colombia, Mexico, India and Nepal.
  • One focus of Discovering Hands in Austria, for example, is cooperation with companies. The idea is that the medical tactics examiners there train women on site to recognise signs of a possible disease themselves.

Learn more about Discovering Hands in this video:


How Discovering Hands contributes to the 17 Global Goals

Good Health and Well-Being

Discovering Hands enables better early detection of breast cancer, especially for younger people.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Access to highly skilled, high-demand jobs for people with severe visual impairment.

Quality Education

Medical-Tactile Examiner as a new, highly qualified job profile; training via own academy

Reduced Inequalities

Reducing inequalities in the job market for visually impaired people

Project Assessment

You can access the full project assessment here:


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