As Federal Commissioner for the Disabled, Betty Schätzchen would like to shake up the German government and would particularly support the needs of deaf and hearing-impaired people. Her self-declared goal: to free people with disabilities from barriers and to relieve them through accessibility. At REHACARE.com she tells us how she rolls.
Name: Betty Schätzchen Age: 38 City: Berlin, Germany Occupation: alternative practitioner, yoga teacher, coach Impairment: severe hearing loss on both sides since birth
Betty Schätzchen: Funny stories and jokes I tell myself. Every now and then I snort away on the streets and allow myself to infect others with my laugther.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Betty Schätzchen: Wow, talking about it feels like having my coming out. Well, on the one hand, I’m interested in getting a helicopter or small plane pilot's license. On the other hand, I have always wanted to skydive. But for both I have a lot of respect.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Betty Schätzchen: Eckhart Tolle. In my opinion no spiritual teacher has managed to describe the presence of the present in such a simple, neutral but positive, relaxing and unbiased way so far. He always talks about the "now" but in a way he is able to simultaneously illuminate it from an infinite number of perspectives.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Betty Schätzchen: First of all, I would really like to wake up our government and ask those involved why accessibility is still at its beginning since the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into force. Surely some things have already been done, but in so many areas hearing impaired or deaf people are often faced with a lack of full subtitling and the service of sign language interpreters. Also the fast and smooth employment of sign language interpreters in private as well as in professional sector is still far from being given. Long bureaucratic hurdles make it even more difficult. Helping people with disabilities from the burden of barriers to the relief of accessibility – that would be my goal!
What is especially near and dear to you?
Betty Schätzchen: It is the birthright of every human to be happy, free and self-determined. And it is especially important that we all remember this day by day.
I would like to be...
Betty Schätzchen: ... a man and a dog just for one day. I'm just interested in how they both roll.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Betty Schätzchen: How are you really doing? Who would you be if you were allowed to be completely vulnerable?
What else I wanted to say...
Betty Schätzchen: BEYOUtiful! Be YOU in your unique beauty!