What makes you laugh?
Heidi Ulm: Above all, my friends and our mutual "insiders" make me laugh – be it at a movie theater, dinner or in a nightclub.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Heidi Ulm: If I have something firmly in my head, then I usually pull it through. For me, it's usually only 0 or 101 percent. Financial reasons, personal fears or the difficulty of being a woman with disabilities could complicate my potential dreams. For example, I find it difficult to cooperate with new groups of people because I am constantly exposed to the gaze. That's why new beginnings of any kind are challenging for me, but certainly didn't prevent me from realizing long lasting wishes.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Heidi Ulm: It would be unfair to name just one person here, because so far many people have supported, motivated and strengthened me. My prosthesis maker plays a big role, especially in my childhood, who was a great support for me even in difficult moments and from whom I was able to learn a lot of wisdom.
I was also influenced by my girlfriend, with whom I was allowed to spend my high school time in a dormitory. She helped me to open up more quickly to others, to become more self-confident and was a super "room companion".
Of course my family, friends, teachers and so on also influenced me.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Heidi Ulm: I would change a lot, because unfortunately (worldwide) there are many grievances, which non-disabled people are not even aware of.
My first official action would probably be to fundamentally reform the Federal Participation Act in Germany. People with disabilities should have the right to live without an income limit, to save higher sums of money, to attend a "normal" school, to receive an adequate "disability pension", to get their requested aids without lengthy/senseless bureaucracy and much more. Assistance, barrier-free access and a well-functioning medical system are further keywords that would require a lot of work.