What makes you laugh?
Ines Helke: When people with and without disabilities are happy together and children's eyes shine with joy.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Ines Helke: Establish a café without state subsidies, as is customary here and there with integration companies. Simply create a café in which people with and without disabilities can show the way to inclusion. Show that people with disabilities are there, that it is simply normal and that all belong to our society. All should earn their wages, so that appreciation is experienced at eye level.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Ines Helke: Maren, a woman with trisomy 21, who has been attending the workshop sign language and sign poetry 'HandsUp' from treffpunkt.altona (alsterdorf assistenz west GmbH) for years. Her motivation to learn sign language and sign poetry for the small and large performances of 'HandsUp' is remarkable.
With her personal pace of learning she shows that inclusion is possible. She brings herself in and also confidently says/signs that a song is too fast for her and she wants it to be different. She demands it in her own way and does not let up. She insists on her needs and communicates clearly. She has found her way and wants to be picked up where she stands with her disability.
The concept of social space orientation has worked for her personally. With her attitude, Maren has motivated others to learn sign language and sign poetry. A wonderful result of empowerment.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Ines Helke: To oblige business to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – without any ifs or buts. Our life does not take place in state institutions, but where it happens: in pubs, cinemas, restaurants, buses, trains, swimming pools, discos, playgrounds, medical practices, hospitals and much more.
I would also like to open a discussion on the question of whether we should/must introduce an inclusion tax in Germany. The source of money goes specifically into the implementation of inclusion. We all need inclusion because it can affect everyone and everyone can benefit from inclusion. Not only we humans with disabilities.