Already for the second time praparanden of the evangelic church community maroldsweisach and people with handicap, who are employed in the workshops for adapted work (wefa) of the diakonie coburg in seblach, met in the community center "arche" in maroldsweisach.
Priest martin popp-posekardt welcomed his praparands and the guests from seblach with diplomheilpadagogin nadine lindner from the accompanying service. "We want to think and work together about what it means to be disabled, to get an insight into the problems of disabled people and to gain an understanding of their problems", said the priest. He went on to say: "disabled people live in our society, they belong to it as a matter of course."
Five people with different disabilities came from wefa to maroldsweisach to present themselves to the praparands. Already during the introductory round it could be read in the faces of the participants that they were surprised about some of the things they heard.
The initiative was taken by the visitors of wefa. They asked questions to the young people: who knows someone with a disability?? What is the difference between mental and physical disability?? What kind of disabilities do you know? What difficulties do people with disabilities encounter?? As far as the first question was concerned, it became clear that most of the participants knew people with disabilities, but there were fewer people with different types of disabilities. Some of the difficulties that disabled people face, such as the problem of barriers in everyday life, were worked out together and later presented in a practical way.
The disabled themselves, together with pastor popp-posekardt and curative educator linder, then gave explanations. Remarkable was the answer of one of the participants: "my cousin is mentally handicapped, but that has been normal for me for a long time."
Talking openly about disability
It was remarkable how openly the disabled people spoke about their illnesses and disabilities. A woman told us that she became mentally ill as a result of the separation from her husband and mobbing. Their "history of suffering visibly impressed the young people.
A "picture riddle" was also very interesting. Photos of the participating disabled people were displayed on a table, together with printed statements. "Look at the slips of paper with the statements and try to match them with the people you think fit them", urged lindner.
Tentatively, the praparands went to work, taking statements in their hands, looking into the faces of the people, and then assigning the statements to them. For the most part, they were right. After that the disabled people talked openly about themselves, what they have experienced in the course of their lives, what they have been confronted with, what has hurt them or what has pleased them. The praparands then had the opportunity to ask each of the disabled people questions.
It became clear that some disabled people, especially in their childhood and adolescence, felt exploited and patronized, while others had positive impressions of their personal environment and felt accepted and integrated. It was heard that some are in the local fire departments of their place of residence, play in chapels and on understanding for her handicap pushed. It is particularly important for people with disabilities to lead as self-determined a life as possible. It also pays to have your own apartment.
Even sitting in a wheelchair
After a lot of theory, it was time for practice. The participants were able to use wheelchairs to see for themselves what it is like to sit in a wheelchair. There were difficulties in opening a door or overcoming small barriers. Also the feeling of money, or preparation of food and drinks with visual impairment or blindness was addressed and tried out. The problems faced by disabled people who, for example, suffer from hemiplegia when they put on a piece of clothing, were also demonstrated in practice.
At the end, a joint summary was drawn, which was quite positive. Nadine lindner was pleased and said: "i think a lot of things came out for the benefit of both sides, there was interest and it is simply important to deal with the subject."