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Group says little people still disadvantaged in Germany

The Local · 3 Jun 2011, 10:40

Published: 03 Jun 2011 10:40 GMT+02:00

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“A lot needs to be improved,” said Karl-Heinz Klingebiel, honorary chairman of the German Association for People of Short Stature and their Families (BKMF), at the organization’s national meeting in Hohenroda, in eastern Hesse.

“Little people still aren't given enough opportunities. They are not sufficiently included and supported.”

Little people are often defined as those shorter than 150 centimetres (4 feet 11 inches) due to a medical condition such as dwarfism. The BKMF estimates there are about 100,000 such people in Germany.

The association complained that little people are often sent to schools for those with mental problems, although they are only physically disadvantaged.

There are also problems when little people look for a job, Klingebiel said.

“When two people apply, the bigger one will be hired,” he said.

Additionally, everyday life can be challenging because most pubs and restaurants have toilets and other infrastructure designed only for regular-sized people.

Even basic travel can be tough since many German trains are not designed to accommodate little people’s needs.

Story continues below…

The BKMF has been calling for disabled children to be included in regular classrooms to improve the educational opportunities for little people.

Little people have gained a higher profile in recent years due to the success of TV shows like “Little People, Big World” in the United States, which tried to show mainstream society the challenges they face.

DPA/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:29 June 3, 2011 by Dashcroft
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:08 June 3, 2011 by Ruhetag
United states made some progress in the 1980's by outlawing Dwarf Tossing. Sadly this also took more jobs away from little people as Karl-Heinz Klingebiel discuss above.
23:20 June 3, 2011 by 9900lawre
"German Association for People of Short Stature and their Families (BKMF)"

Get a grip, little people are disadvantaged full stop! What the blazes can Germany or any other country do about it? I can't see isle number 12 at kaufland being specially modified to employ someone virtically challenged just incase they fancy rising to the challenge. (no puns)
04:18 June 4, 2011 by DOZ
True Ruhgtag, nut Dwarf Bowling took it`s place
20:28 June 8, 2011 by Joshontour
Let's just modify everything so that nothing could possibly discriminate against anybody.

¦quot;When two people apply, the bigger one will be hired,¦quot; he said... this argument is used by everyone who didn't get the job. If white and black apply, white gets job, black cries racism. Black gets job, white cries affirmative action. If woman and man apply and Man gets job, it's sexism. Woman gets job and they are just trying to fill a quota.
14:47 May 13, 2013 by trinigerman
It is true that they are being overlooked in terms of their height, I believe that the Government should do much more in providing jobs for them. Some of them are educated enough but are being bypassed by the authourities.
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