Markus Boettner grew up with the Wartburg in sight and the Thuringian Forrest as playground. After he graduated University the passionate musician moved to Galway, Ireland. He moved back to Germany since half a year now. What moves the linguist and why a quotation of his good friend enriches his life, he tells us at REHACARE.com.
Name: Markus Boettner Age: 38 City: After ten years in Galway, Ireland, back in North Hesse since June 2017 Occupation: Linguist (English, phonetics and phonology, German as a foreign language) Impairment: blind because of Wagner-Stickler-Syndrome
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Markus Boettner: I've been wanting to do a skydive for a while now. So far, however, it has failed due to opportunities and the cost of such an undertaking. I'd have the guts to do it. So if someone should be interested in strapping a parachute instructor on my back as a mascot for a good cause - I'll be there!
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Markus Boettner: Hmmm...a question that is naturally very difficult to pin down on a single person. There are a number of people who have influenced each of us in different areas of life in different ways. My family made me the person I am, gave me very nice childhood memories, gave me an education, for which I am grateful and let me grow up in an environment with a lot of mutual support. Meanwhile, my school friends were so uncomplicated in dealing with my existing visual impairment that they made their notes available to me when I could not read some of the overhead-foil well or when I was back in the eye clinic and showed me in this way that an integrative schooling is only possible through friendship and good will, without the official stamp of inclusion being required. As a musician, I have been influenced by artists to whom I look up, but also by my friends with whom I have enjoyed playing in various formations over the past 20 years. But there is one person who has put my motto for life in a quote: my good friend Eva. We met 13 years ago as guest students in Galway, Ireland, studied together, played together, travelled together. She challenged and encouraged me in our music and friendship. If you can perform songs with guitar, violin and two-part vocals at a friend's wedding without a rehearsal, which you haven't played together for 11 years, then you know: it fits. When Eva knew me for a few months, she summed up her experiences with me in the above-mentioned quote: "Sight stops in the eye, but blindness begins in the head."
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled in your country. What would you do first?
Markus Boettner: My first official act would be a broad-based campaign, both in terms of content and presence, in which employers would be informed about both the qualities of workers with disabilities and the possibilities for promoting appropriately adapted workplace equipment. I have noticed in recent years that lack of knowledge and awareness on the part of employers is one of the strongest barriers to inclusion.
Living inclusion: Markus Böttner not only loves playing music on his own, but also with other musicians with and without disabilities.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Markus Boettner: Some private misfortunes have made one thing clear to me in recent years: We only have these few decades in which we can live life. We should all make sure that we make the best of it and should also help other people - whatever their CVs and personal qualities are - to develop and be happy.
I would like to be ...
Markus Boettner: with Mark Knopfler and band on stage or with Walter Röhrl in the passenger seat.
Which question would you like to get answered?
Markus Boettner: And why wouldn't that work?
What else I wanted to say...
Markus Boettner: Sight stops in the eye, but blindness begins in the head.