European Day of Protest for the Equality of People with Disabilities 2024

The motto of this year's European Protest Day for Equality for People with Disabilities is “Ahead for inclusion! Live self-determined – without barriers” (Viel vor für Inklusion! Selbstbestimmt leben – ohne Barrieren). The day of protest calls for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) to finally be better implemented.

The European Day of Protest for the Equality of People with Disabilities has been held annually on 5 May since 1992. Many areas still exclude the participation of people with disabilities and do not take them into account. On the occasion of the day of protest, associations, organizations and activists demand comprehensive accessibility, the self-determination of people with disabilities and their participation in all decisions that affect their own lives. The 5 May is an appeal to all citizens to become active and to support people with disabilities in strengthening their rights.

Inclusion as a human right has been enshrined in UN CRPD for 15 years. A study conducted in February 2024 (in German) on behalf of Aktion Mensch examined how well countries implement inclusion. Germany scores particularly poorly in the area of education.

Inclusion at the university

At the University of Mannheim, the Representatives for Employees with a Disability are committed to breaking down barriers for students and employees. Andreas Wick and the deputy representative Christian Fäth are the contact persons for employees with disabilities. Among other things, they advise on workplaces suitable for the disabled and provide assistance with questions about the German Social Code (SGB IX). Caterina Katzer advises students with disabilities or chronic illnesses on disadvantage compensation and examinations.

The University of Mannheim is also continuously working to break down barriers, create access and promote the participation of all. Everyone is responsible for making the internet digital accessibility – accessibility is teamwork. Tips and guidelines for the accessible design of digital content for employees can be found on the intranet (in German). If you have any questions about digital accessibility, the online editor Alexa Knapp is at your disposal.

This report on the conversion of the Ehrenhof Ost shows how accessibility is implemented in practice at the university: All the lecture halls are equipped with height-adjustable tables, have sufficient maneuvering space for wheelchair users, and feature infrared assistive listening technology to aid people with hearing loss,” Heitz reports. Braille script on the handrails of the staircases facilitates orientation for people with sight loss.

Events in the region:

  • 4 May, 5:30 p.m.: „Weinheimer Wortwelten“ City Hall Weinheim, free entry, on a donation basis. Regional and national artists present sign language poetry as well as poetry and spoken word in German spoken language.
  • 5 May, 4:15–5:45 p.m.: Rally „Wir klagen an: Menschenrecht auf Inklusion JETZT!“ (We denounce: Human rights for inclusion NOW) Friedrich-Ebert-Platz, Heidelberg
  • 7 May, 6 p.m.: „UN-Behindertenrechtskonvention: Papiertiger oder Chance für Inklusion in Mannheim?“ (UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Paper tiger or opportunity for inclusion in Mannheim?) Lecture by Prof. Dr. Sigrid Arnade, Abendakademie Mannheim