World Cerebral Palsy Day – for inclusion and social participation
World Cerebral Palsy Day – for inclusion and social participation
We asked Janine Aigner und Thomas Müller
I am here, we are here, and the world should know it – with this message, the World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 6 should not only draw more attention to the disease. It is also intended to raise awareness of the fact that there is still a lot of catching up to do in terms of the participation of people with cerebral palsy in many areas of society.
Beate Höß-Zenker from the Bundesverband Konduktive Förderung nach Petö e.V. (Federal Association of Conductive Education according to Petö) had a conversation with Thomas Müller and Janine Aigner on the occasion of World Cerebral Palsy Day on October 6 in the premises of the Stiftung Pfennigparade.
Beate Höß-Zenker, member of the board of the Bundesverband Konduktive Förderung nach Petö e.V. (Federal Association for Conductive Education), spoke for REHACARE.com on the occasion of World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Day with two people affected. Janine Aigner and Thomas Müller talk about their life with cerebral palsy and tell what meaning the World Cerebral Palsy Day has for them personally.
Ms. Aigner, today is World Cerebral Palsy Day and you yourself are affected by the disability. Please introduce yourself briefly.
Janine Aigner: My name is Janine Aigner. I am 30 years old and have had cerebral palsy since birth. I currently still live with my mother, but would soon like to live in my own apartment with 24-hour assistance.
I have been receiving Conductive Education since 1993. At that time I started in Budapest and afterwards I attended an inclusive kindergarten, run by the association FortSchritt gGmbH in Starnberg, Germany. I still benefit from the holistic concept of conductive support and am largely independent because of it. I attended the Ernst-Barlach-Schools of the Pfennigparade Foundation and am currently doing my bachelor's degree in social work.
What are your plans after graduation?
Aigner: After graduation, I would like to work in consulting; but I'm not yet sure in which field. But I hope to find an exciting, well-paid job that fulfills me and where I can pass on my experience and help other people achieve their wishes and goals. This won't be easy, but I'm confident I'll find something suitable.
Where do you see the problems in the job search?
Aigner: For a person with a disability, the chances of finding a job are sometimes slim. Employers often prefer to pay a penalty. Reasons for this could be: reservations, fears of employers, the longer notice period for employment contracts of people with disabilities, adapting the workplace to individual needs, longer and more intensive training period, more time needed to complete tasks.
What do you wish for the future?
Aigner: Friends, fun, self-determination, a job, togetherness instead of antagonism, more understanding for individual needs and inclusion of all fellow human beings.
What would an ideal world look like for you?
Aigner: I would wish for more acceptance in society and more accessibility in the minds of others. But also, of course, that I could get around more easily on public transportation. (laughs)
For Thomas Müller and Janine Aigner, World Cerebral Palsy Day is an important tool to create more awareness for participation in the broader society.
Mr. Müller, you are in Munich at Pfennigparade and have found a job here. How are you doing with the job?
Thomas Müller: Yes, I'm doing well so far and, despite my severe physical disability, I've found a job in the media sector that fulfills me and makes me proud and happy. And of course I am very grateful to Pfennigparade for this opportunity.
What do you do here at Pfennigparade?
Müller: I'm an online editor in the media forge. It's a varied job because we produce content for websites. So we write texts and we make videos. We show presentations about subtitles and alternative texts. So everything to make a world more accessible.
You contribute to this all year round, which is also the aim of World Cerebral Palsy Day. What do you say to World Cerebral Palsy Day?
Müller: Well, I think that the World Cerebral Palsy Day is so important, so that the concerns of people with cerebral palsy can be made visible to the public. Because it often happens that many only know what people with cerebral palsy can do when someone actually works with someone. But it is very important that the general public also becomes aware of what a person with cerebral palsy can achieve despite their severe physical disability.
Ms. Aigner, what does World Cerebral Palsy Day mean to you personally?
Aigner: I'm pleased that the day was created. Many people are not even aware of the disability. On this day, the concept of cerebral palsy is explained, which is very important! The day draws attention to the problems that still exist for disabled people. I always look forward to the day because there is a lot going on and a lot of celebrating. I then see friends, celebrate with my family and look at the great green actions posted on social media. It's nice that the day is now more in the public eye
The World Cerebral Palsy Day organization releases a motto each year. This year's motto is "Millions of Reasons". What do you understand by that, what message should the motto convey?
Janine Aigner has also been to REHACARE: "The trade fair is a great meeting place for the community. I looked at many interesting innovations in the exhibition halls and was able to exchange ideas with other affected persons and their families. I'm already looking forward to the fall of 2022."
Aigner: The World Day is not only a day to approach each other, but it should especially draw attention to the difficulties, such as: lack of acceptance, education, equal job opportunities, better counseling through medicine and therapy, accessibility – just comprehensive equality for all people!
Disability – for me understood as an obstacle, that one is hindered to reach his*her goals straight and without detours. In my opinion, however, the goals set can still be achieved. Even if it is connected with a higher effort and a feat of strength than if one were not disabled.
Inclusion can only be achieved by getting it into people's heads that everyone is equal and has a right to be a member of this world.
You have been doing Conductive Education since your early childhood. What has that done for you in your life?
Aigner: Conductive Education is a holistic approach and means that you receive medical, educational and therapeutic care at the same time in one facility. I think that Conductive Education is a super holistic method and that there is actually no methodology that works like Conductive Education.
And although I stopped in between times, I decided to continue because it is simply important and because it brings me my independence. And because I have the bond with the conductors and with the Pfennigparade facility.
The Bundesverband Konduktive Förderung nach Petö e.V. (Federal Association of Conductive Education according to Petö) has been an exhibitor at REHACARE for many years and has always had a stand at the "Marktplatz Gehirn" (Marketplace Brain) in the past. In recent years, the Stiftung Pfennigparade (Pfennigparade Foundation) has always been present at the trade fairs with a large number of employees as visitors.
At REHACARE 2022, the Federal Association will also be represented again with a stand.
#SaveTheDate: 14 to 17 September 2022, Düsseldorf, Germany
Interview on behalf of the Bundesverband Konduktive Förderung e.V. (Federal Association for Conductive Education) REHACARE.com