If you travel a lot for work, you don't necessarily feel like travelling in your free time. In this respect it is understandable that Raul Krauthausen has not yet realized his trip around the world. What made Germany's most well-known inclusion activists laugh on Twitter lately and to which serious questions he would like to have an answer, he tells us at REHACARE.com.
Name: Raul Krauthausen Age: 38 City: Berlin, Germany Occupation: Media maker and activist Relation to Impairment: Yes
Raul Krauthausen: A good bad pun! A while ago there was this German hastag trending on Twitter #ITSchlager (hit songs and how they would be titled if they would have been named by IT specialists; Editor's note) - I have laughed a lot.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Raul Krauthausen: A trip around the world! But I am a pretty lazy person and I cannot imagine not to be at home for a whole year.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Raul Krauthausen: My parents: They have always been behind me and have also critically accompanied me. They didn't see my disability as a problem, but rather always said "We'll get it done!"
But also my really close friends, who also criticize me and also see me as human being as well.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Raul Krauthausen: That's a good question that I need to think about... I would urge that the position of Federal Commissioner for the Disabled be heard more within the Government. And if I have the feeling that it would not bear fruit, then I would leave for that reason. However, this is not about me as a person, but generally about the position of the Federal Commissioner for the Disabled, who needs more influence. Actually, he/she should have a mandate in the German Bundestag at least, or perhaps even at ministerial level. There is, for example, a Ministry for Women, so there can also be a Ministry for People with Disabilities and not just a representative. Disabled people are the fastest growing minority in our society.
Inclusion benefits not only people with disabilities because it finally enables them to participate, but also people without disabilities. After all, it is diversity that makes a society colorful. This is what Raul Krauthausen stands for - in everyday life and at this year's REHACARE.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Raul Krauthausen: Now, especially in the area of inclusion, I am more and more concerned and it is also a point that makes me increasingly impatient (to put it diplomatically) that non-disabled people are constantly talking about inclusion. And about what is possible, what it can do and what it cannot do. Especially that. Where the limits of inclusion lie is almost always defined by non-disabled people. Very rarely are people listened to who have either experienced inclusion themselves - and they don't even have to have a disability themselves - but who have lived through it, for example in a school. But above all, when it comes to what disabled people are allowed to do, you should always listen to people with disabilities, not just teachers, doctors, politicians and parents.
I would like to be ...
Raul Krauthausen: ... I would like to be in the shoes of a German Chancellor in order to find out and see where there might be further opportunities to influence our society for minorities - and how it can happen that the feeling arises that politics is increasingly distancing itself from the population. But that should happen from now on. If you go this eternal way to become Chancellor and make politics for 30 years, then you probably won't even notice the alienation. But if I could take a look myself for today or tomorrow, I might see it.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Raul Krauthausen: Why people who are not affected believe they have the mandate to judge what other people are entitled to. Why can primary school teachers say that disabled students are not allowed in our school or classroom? What is their mandate? I would say the same for vegans, for example. So if politics really wants inclusion, which can sometimes be questioned, then a teacher actually has nothing to say. If a car manufacturer's board wants sports cars to be built, their assembly line workers have to do it. But if he prefers to build stagecoaches, he won't have the job much longer. This means that a teacher is an employee of the state and has to do the work in this context. Where does it come from that people take the right to say: "No, but not with us." That's what I'm trying to find out.
What I finally want to say...
Raul Krauthausen: We people with disabilities should not let anyone tell us what we are allowed to do, what we are not allowed to do, what we can do, what we cannot do - except by ourselves! And we must make it clear to people without disabilities that they too have a right to live with us. And that it is not always about us wanting to participate as a minority, but that the majority may also miss something!