Autonomy and destigmatization when it comes to assistive technology
More information about invisible diseases is urgently needed, says Nora Hamann. The 24-year-old knows from her own experience how important it is to exchange ideas with those affected, as well as other social contacts, in order not to lose hope even on gloomy days. What makes a good day for her and how she rolls otherwise, she tells us at REHACARE.com.
Nora Hamann: A day with my favorite people in the fresh air, lots of coffee, laughing together and enjoying the day.
Which auxiliary means or daily living aids are indispensable for you?
Nora Hamann: Anything that makes sensory overload more bearable. Earplugs that reduce the volume of noise. Sunglasses when the sun is shining. Blue light filter glasses to make it easier to look at screens and a Fidget Cube to calm me down when the rest doesn't help.
What would you like to see from society and your fellow people in dealing with people with disabilities?
Nora Hamann: Inclusion. Destigmatization of the use of assistive devices. Respectful and open treatment of people with disabilities. More education, especially with regard to invisible disabilities. Above all, more willingness on the part of those not affected to make use of educational opportunities, because inclusion does not only concern relatives.
Which assistive device would urgently need to be invented and/or improved?
What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you?
Nora Hamann: To accept that I am no longer a healthy young woman and that my disease will accompany me throughout my life. The envy of healthy people in my environment without limitations was very stressful for me for a long time. A lively exchange with people of the same age affected by my disease has helped me a lot along this path. It is incredibly valuable to realize that you are not alone with your feelings and thoughts.
What can the assistive technology industry learn from the Corona pandemic to make life easier and/or better for people with disabilities in the future?
Nora Hamann: During the Corona pandemic, maintaining social contacts was made even more difficult for people with disabilities. Exchanging with others, especially about topics that have nothing to do with the disease, is indispensable. I would find a platform that is accessible to everyone – regardless of disability or limitation – enormously important. In this way, new relationships with people can develop that motivate and give hope not to give up.
If nothing would be impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why?
Nora Hamann: If nothing were impossible, I would love to go on a mystery hunt with Robert Langdon – the main character of a series of books by Dan Brown. His high level of knowledge and quick recognition of connections impress me a lot.
What was your best REHACARE experience?
Nora Hamann: Unfortunately, I have never visited the trade fair myself. But since I have heard a lot of positive things about it, I would be happy to participate myself.
What else I wanted to say ...
Nora Hamann: Especially to newly diagnosed people I would like to say that even if some days seem hopeless and frustration and sadness spread, the bad days will pass and it will get better! It's so important not to give up after bad days, but to give upcoming ones a chance to be beautiful too! Continue to dare to dream big and never stop being brave.