Bold assaults and the ignorance of an appropriate way to deal with people with disabilities are the factors that Eliza Gawin often finds disturbing about her fellow human beings. But even the 25-year-old first had to learn that a relationship is also possible with a disability. Who helped her gain this insight and why the web designer did not have to buy plastic straws for years, she tells us at REHACARE.com.
Name: Eliza Gawin Age: 25 City: Wiesbaden, Germany Occupation: web designer and office administrator Impairment: I have a physical disability (muscle atrophy).
Eliza Gawin: Videos of screaming goats and clumsy animals.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Eliza Gawin: I would like to answer a stranger's question "Why are you in a wheelchair?" correspondingly impertinent. But so far I hadn't had enough courage for it and didn't feel like a riot.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Eliza Gawin: Anastasia Umrik! When I had no personal assistance and thought that a relationship with a disability was unattainable, she was there and encouraged me to want it and to believe in me.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Eliza Gawin: I would oblige entrances with a single (!) step to rebuild. At the same time I would encourage taxi companies to offer more wheelchair accessible cars in order to abolish overpriced so called patient trips.
On her blog "das bisschen Rollstuhl" (English: that little bit of a wheelchair) demands Eliza "to get out of the victim role, and finally get inclusion!". With anecdotes from her life, she also wants to encourage others to finally be loud and stand up for their right to participation.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Eliza Gawin: Eco-friendliness. That's why I rinse my old plastic straws and haven't bought any for years.
I would like to be...
Eliza Gawin: ...visible and invisible at the same time. Wheelchair user know the feeling of being stared at and at the same time being ignored because people intend to look away.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Eliza Gawin: Can wheelchair users have sex? Because that's what a lot of people obviously want to know!
What else I wanted to say...
Eliza Gawin: Fight for your right to party – even in a wheelchair!