Annette Schwindt is a net dweller and speaks fluent HTML – she feels right at home on the internet. She communicates with people all over the world and if she could choose, she would have an extensive conversation with the most famous couple in the world. Who it is and how Annette Schwindt otherwise rolls, she tells us on REHACARE.com.
Name: Annette Schwindt Age: 49 City: Bonn, Germany Occupation: Digital communication consultant and editor Impairment: I have been married to Thomas, who is a quadriplegic, for 18 years now, run the now defunct documentary "Zweisames" (about couples with one partner with a disability and one without), have cardiac arrhythmias and locate myself on the autism spectrum.
Annette Schwindt: When I can start the day in peace and then implement exciting projects with interesting people that also help third parties. Delicious food and enough time with my husband, who has also been working at home since March 2020 due to Corona.
Which auxiliary means or daily living aids are indispensable for you?
Annette Schwindt: Firstly, the internet connection, because it is currently almost our entire connection to the world and indispensable for working. Secondly, a functioning supply of medication and aids (catheter, wheelchair, etc. for my husband). What would you like to see from society and your fellow people in dealing with people with disabilities?
Annette Schwindt: That the idea of welfare finally becomes history and people – regardless of their abilities – are perceived as equals. That each person is recognised as his or her own expert who knows best what is good for him or her and what is not. And the dismantling of structural barriers and those in people's heads – on both sides.
Which assistive device would urgently need to be invented and/or improved?
Annette Schwindt: In general, there is a need for better design that does not come at the expense of function. Many aids are either ugly or do not last long. Also wheelchair accessible clothing in better and sustainable quality that is not just for leisure.
What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you to do so?
Annette Schwindt: Our honeymoon by cargo ferry to Finland. The detailed preparation via internet helped.
What can the assistive technology industry learn from the Corona pandemic to make life easier and/or better for people with disabilities in the future?
Annette Schwindt: It is helpful to have personal advice online without having to drive somewhere or have someone come to you if you want to get more detailed information. Pick-up and delivery services of assistive devices to your home are also useful.
If nothing would be impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why?
Annette Schwindt: I would like to exchange ideas with Michelle and Barack Obama on how to shape the life of the future, because I like the way they approach it.
What was your best REHACARE experience?
Annette Schwindt: Meeting people I had only known online before.
What I finally want to say...
Annette Schwindt: What matters is not what someone can or cannot do. What matters is what you do with what you have and that you accept yourself and others as they are.