The human being should be in the focus, not the disability. And in questions which concern people with disabilities, they should also be consulted themselves. That's what Michaela Gurzinski would like to see from society and politics. She also tells us on REHACARE.com who can make her laugh quite well and what she still needs about ten certificates for.
Michaela Gurzinski: My husband and my dog. Both can always make me laugh with their sense of nonsense.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Michaela Gurzinski: I would also like to offer coaching and training besides my job at the Jobcenter and maybe give lectures about disability, guide dogs for the blind and much more.
On the "small scale" I have already considered that I would like to go to kindergartens with my guide dog to explain how to deal best with a human assistance dog team and to show that disability is neither contagious nor evil.
It is always such a thing with women to dare somethin. They need LOTS of certificates for it instead of just doing it. And I'm probably no exception - I'm certainly still missing 10 certificates.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Michaela Gurzinski: Even as a child, my parents gave me the confidence that everything could be achieved. My husband has been at my side for 10 years now and goes through all ups and downs with me. He gives me the backing and the strength, despite all the difficulties, to believe that I can do everything I want to do. He has shown me that there is always a way.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Michaela Gurzinski: I would get people with disabilities more on board in all decision areas. How can a non-disabled person decide what a disabled person needs? What kind of support makes what kind of sense when and when not? Only people with disabilities can judge that.
Up and away! That would be something for Michaela Gurzinski: She would like to travel the world in peace.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Michaela Gurzinski: To reduce fears of contact and prejudices of non-disabled people towards disabled people. I wish that the person is important and not the disability. I would be happy if the point of view would change and if a disability could not be seen as a weakness but also as a strength.
I would like to be ...
Michaela Gurzinski: free of all obligations, tasks and my job to simply explore and discover the world. Travel through many countries of the world without time limit and money worries and come back with a backpack full of experiences and memories.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Michaela Gurzinski: What can we do to ensure that our society is not constantly controlled by prejudices, both on a large and a smaller scale? How can we make people reopen to new or unknown things, become curious and ask when they don't understand something?
What I finally want to say...
Michaela Gurzinski: No one has chosen their health restrictions - we can only decide how to deal with them and what to do out of them.