“Being different is normal”

Max lorenz sits down next to werner noack as a matter of course – no question about it. The two have become friends. "While drinking coffee", says max and laughs. After the event he pushes werner with his wheelchair to drauben. The familiar relationship they have is obvious. The other people with disabilities from wefa ahorn who came to the final event of the P-seminar at gymnasium alexandrinum are also sitting relaxed among the students, listening and discussing with them. Inclusion is lived here – not only by the Q12, in which the topic was dealt with as part of a project seminar.
"We are an inclusive school", explains principal herbert brunner and begins a conversation with gabriele zahn. Like all the other partners in the project, she has just received a printed and stapled biography from the wefa, which the students have formulated and illustrated with photos. "If there is anything wrong, you must say so", course leader winfried bohley addresses the guests. There is no complaint.
And then it gets theoretical: the Q12 students explain what they learned in the P-seminar on the topic of "people with disabilities in old age have learned. For example, that inclusion means more than integration, because included people can participate fully and equally in all social processes and help shape them. The speakers address the pedagogical aspect of inclusion, care structures, accessibility and basal stimulation.
Angelika krause thinks it's all too much theory. She would rather talk about her situation as a disabled person. "What is the state of accessibility in coburg??", asks winfried bohley. "Not so good", here is the answer from paulina szpurgis. She points out how difficult it is for people in wheelchairs or with walking disabilities to get to the hostels and the toilets. Matthias emmer from the board of directors of the diaconal organization admits that a lot has already been done in terms of construction in the past few years. But: "the communication of information about the city in display cases or on the internet is rather unfavorable for people with disabilities."

A lot learned

As part of the P-seminar, the students had also asked the city and the political parties what else could be done in coburg to enable citizens with disabilities to participate even more in life. What came out of it? "Actually, we have hardly received any concrete answers," says, says mia beyersdorf. Only bundnis 90/die grunen had concrete ideas. "But their requests are often underbuttered, we have learned."
And what has the schoolchildren gained from dealing with this topic?? Laura theimer found it good and surprising how open-minded the people at wefa are. She particularly liked the fact that she got an impression of the work there. And she has learned to push jan schreiber in a wheelchair, which has taken away her inhibitions, she admits. Jana stahl now has, she says, a prejudice-free view of people with disabilities. Paulina szpurgis helped her in the process. Sarah thim learned from gabriele zahn that everyone can make a difference in the world, whether handicapped or not.
Mia beyersdorf finds it good that she can communicate so well with the partners from wefa. "It's great that you gave up your time for us and invested in our education." Philipp lehnert was impressed by how open everyone was, he says. "They have adapted to us very quickly."
At the end of the event, everyone could agree with one sentence that matthias emmer introduced into the discussion: "it is normal to be different."

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