Inclusion and work are her topics – the activist Anne Gersdorff studied social work and works as an integration consultant. She doesn't take herself so seriously and would like to take one or two time travels. To whom she owes her humanistic image of man, what she would like to change politically and where her dream journey should go to, she tells on REHACARE.com.
Name: Anne Gersdorff Age: 32 City: Berlin, Germany Occupation: I studied Social Work and have a Master in "Management - Education - Diversity". I work as an integration consultant and educational advisor at BIS e.V. and as a consultant on the topic of inclusion for Wild:LACHS für alle e.V. Relation to Impairment: First of all, my own muscle disease, which is why I use a wheelchair and live with 24-hour assistance every day. The other reference is my work at BIS e.V., where I support young people with disabilities and/or learning difficulties to learn and work in the general labour market.
Anne Gersdorff: Even if it is frowned upon in our society: I can laugh at myself very well. But I also like it very much when others can laugh at themselves. I am also very pleased with small absurdities of everyday life and a certain pun.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Anne Gersdorff: As a child I always wanted to travel to Australia, but the long flight and sitting outside my wheelchair are difficult for me. In the meantime, I have gotten better in travelling and am approaching the other end of the world.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Anne Gersdorff: Probably my family, my parents and grandparents. They have always placed a great deal of trust in me in all my projects and taught me that my disability is there, but it is not a problem. They also gave me a humanistic view of the world and shaped my sense of justice. But of course also good friends who support me and get me out of my own bubble and make the world a little better. In addition, I have certainly also been influenced by numerous assistants who have held the position for years and participate in everything that I just put into my head.
At first Australia seemed to be unattainable, now Anne Gersdorff is getting closer and closer. Her assistant is always with her. The 600 kilometers from Berlin to Düsseldorf should be easy for her. Her topic at the #ForumSelbstbestimmt at REHACARE is (work) assistance as well.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Anne Gersdorff: Unfortunately, as it seems to be the custom today, I would first assure myself of more power. At present, the (German) Federal Commissioner for the Disabled has more of an advisory function. Next, I would set about reforming the Federal Participation Law and making assistance a legal priority, creating structures for inclusive education and an inclusive labor market. In my opinion, for the budget for work, people with disabilities do not have to spend years in a workshop for disabled people in order to be entitled to it.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Anne Gersdorff: Mhhh...I think all the great people around me. On the other hand, inclusion, diversity and discrimination structures are topics that concern me very much.
I would like to be ...
Anne Gersdorff: Oh, I'm actually quite happy with myself, which is why I don't necessarily want to be someone else. But if I had the possibility, I would like to travel back into the wild 20's as well as the 68's and the time of the German reunification.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Anne Gersdorff: I wonder why it is so difficult for us to grant other people something – be it just a peaceful or self-determined life in a safe, self-chosen environment or the success of activists. I think it costs so much energy that we could use much more sensibly. I also wonder how we can counter this whole shift to the right. What do I do about it? Is that enough?
What I finally want to say...
Anne Gersdorff: Thank you for this interview and see you at REHACARE.