Tobias Nerlich would like to know why some teachers are still struggling with the topic of inclusion. Why he prefers to look into the future, why he does not like to be reduced to the things he cannot do and why he would do more for street lighting in Germany, he explains at REHACARE.com.
Name: Tobias Nerlich Age: 15 City: Reinfeld (Holstein), Germany Occupation: editor at online student newspaper erkant.de Impairment: I have a calculation dysfunction and an X-leg position (this has already been surgically treated).
Tobias Nerlich: When we play funny scenes in my drama group or when there are any breakdowns, it makes me laugh. It also makes me happy to spend time with my friends.
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Tobias Nerlich: So far I've dared everything and done everything I wanted to do. And if it's something I can't do with my disability, I'll find something else to do.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Tobias Nerlich: All members of my drama group, because they were always there for me during my period of surgery and wrote me encouraging messages. A friend with whose help I learned to swim and made my swimming badge three years ago. Because she kept bringing me into the pool and kept training with me. Even if I didn't feel like it and wanted to give up, she always said that I should keep going and not let myself get down. And of course my parents, who went with me from birth to the early intervention center, where I learned to walk properly.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled. What would you do first?
Tobias Nerlich: I would first make sure that the street lights are always on in the evening and at night throughout Germany and not just every second one. Because if a person with a disability wants to go for a little evening walk, he often doesn't see where he has to walk along at the decisive points such as a bend. In general I think, even though I can only speak of Schleswig-Holstein, that there is far too little street lighting here.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Tobias Nerlich: If you have a physical disability, it's no big deal. If you are therefore looked at crookedly and not taken seriously, remember that there are always people and will always be people in the future who accept you as you are. So do not let them get you down. And people who think differently do not deserve to be friends with you.
I would like to be...
Tobias Nerlich: ...Tourism merchant for private and business trips.
Which question would you like answered the most?
Tobias Nerlich: Why do some teachers still struggle with the topic of inclusion?
What else I wanted to say...
Tobias Nerlich: Are you having a bad time with your disability and you don't feel like doing anything anymore? Look to the future. Because in the future everything will be better. And never look at what doesn't work or what you can't do, but at what you can and what works for you. As a physically limited person, you may even be able to do a little better than someone without physical limitations. And that is your incentive to continue and not to give up.