When Nadine Wettstein goes on an urban exploration tour with her guide dog, she usually realizes that things aren't as bad as she thought they would be. Her advice: Just do it! What insights she would like to have, what she thinks about accessibility and why inclusion is not a gift for people with disabilities, she tells us at REHACARE.com.
Name: Nadine Wettstein Age: 40 City: Halle/Germany Occupation: Independent lecturer and consultant for inclusion Impairment: I am blind.
Nadine Wettstein: Fortunately, a lot, because I like to laugh. Good jokes – admittedly sometimes quite flat jokes –, situation comedy, my own misadventures, my guide dog ...
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Nadine Wettstein: So far I have always fulfilled my wishes little by little. My last bigger wish was to become self-employed. This summer it was my turn to fulfill me a smaller wish: a short vacation alone with my guide dog. I would like to travel more often, even alone, or just go out and explore new corners in my town. I have made the first step now, but the head cinema still stands somewhat in the way. But most of the time it's not as complicated and exhausting as you might imagine. I just have to tell it myself a few more times ... or just do it instead.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Nadine Wettstein: Picking out a special person is difficult. There were and are a lot, starting of course with my parents, teachers (yes, there are those special ones), superiors, but also friends, acquaintances and comrades-in-arms for accessibility and inclusion. In short, all those who have a vision and see life with different eyes or strengthen my back. Surely there was also one or the other among them, who is not able to do exactly that – those not ;-).
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Nadine Wettstein: I would consider an action in which decision-makers such as politicians and cost bearers, perhaps first of all the members of the Bundestag, see themselves unprepared and surprisingly confronted with a barrier. The motto is: people are not disabled, people get disabled. Maybe I could tear down a barrier in one or the other head and accessibility would no longer be just a word or a cost item for some.
Sometimes Nadine Wettstein would like to know what her guide dog Lisa thinks. For example, while they stroll through the market square in Halle/Germany together.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Nadine Wettstein: Humanity, diversity and real life inclusion. This includes many things.
I would like to be...
Nadine Wettstein: ... my guide dog Lisa one day. To know how she experiences me would be exciting. Maybe. Maybe it's also quite good that I don't know ;-).
Which question would you like answered the most?
Nadine Wettstein: The space here is not enough for that and new ones are constantly being added. But that's how it always stays exciting.
But one big central question is surely: How do we manage to make curiosity for diversity overcome the fear of the unknown?
What I finally want to say...
Nadine Wettstein: Inclusion is not a gift for people with disabilities, but a benefit for society as a whole. I think this is unfortunately communicated far too seldom. So thank you for this section, which puts people in the foreground!