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Germany's disabled live in a separate world, official says

The Local · 3 Dec 2010, 08:51

Published: 03 Dec 2010 08:51 GMT+01:00

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“Fears and uncertainty about living together come mostly from the able-bodied,” conservative politician Hubert Hüppe said, calling attention to the issue on the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons.

“Those who don’t know how to greet a Thalidomide victim who has shorter arms, or how to speak to someone who is mentally disabled, often just avoid these situations. And therefore also the people,” he added.

The result of these societal fears is that the disabled live in a different world, pushed to the edges of society, Hüppe said, calling the situation “barriers of the mind.”

But the daily lives of the disabled are also hindered by the country’s failure to provide them equality in daily life, such as barrier free streets, buildings, schools and playgrounds for children, he said.

The commissioner’s comments came just days after a new study revealed that Germany has been slow to develop schools including children with special needs despite signing an international accord to create a more inclusive educational system.

For many children with either physical or mental disabilities the opportunity to socialise with their peers ends with kindergarten because there aren’t enough suitable places for them in schools, the Bertelsmann Foundation found.

Story continues below…

The majority are forced to seek out separate special schools, it said.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:22 December 3, 2010 by moistvelvet
@MadAxeMurderer - So despite all the efforts being made to make people with disabilities to be treated as any abled person, you treat them differently and shake their hand because they are disabled? No matter how good intentioned it was, it comes across as wrong.

On another note, any supermarket/car park would lead you believe that there are just as many disabled people than there are parents with young children... according to the spaces available to each.
14:13 December 3, 2010 by catjones
In Chicago (and perhaps other cities) there has been widespread efforts to remove all curbs at sidewalk intersections.
18:48 December 3, 2010 by DinhoPilot
I think that is aspect Germany is way behind compared to the UK, but on the same line compared to other EU countries.
19:57 December 3, 2010 by Englishted

"On another note, any supermarket/car park would lead you believe that there are just as many disabled people than there are parents with young children... according to the spaces available to each. "

With people getting older and fewer children?

Also I didn't know have young children stopped you being able to walk?

Which is why there are disabled park places in the first place.

On supermarket car parks it should be the same as the street a fine for parking without a shield.

I would ask you to try asking people who you see parking in the spaces without a permit why they are doing so . Most ignore you and some are abusive.

I know because my wife has a permit (which I don't use unless she is with me).
21:16 December 3, 2010 by Gretl
Not surprising. This is the country that has produced people who complain at resort that they've had to view disable guests on their vacation and demanded a refund.
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