"Hopefully in 30 years no one will report about it", says nicole orf, handicapped representative of the city of bamberg, when the new braille printer and a reading machine are inaugurated in the bamberg town hall.
As part of the un convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, bamberg is constantly pushing through projects to make the city more accessible and inclusive for all burghers. "We are really on a very good way. We don’t have to discuss accessibility any more," says, nicole orf explains and believes that in the next 30 to 40 years the issue of accessibility will have vanished into thin air.
The existence of ramps, reading aids and inductive hearing aids is already a matter of course in many scandinavian countries. "We are still contradicting ourselves in this framework", female nicole orf. "On the one hand, we have to promote the new projects and go public, on the other hand, we hope that a brown printer will soon become nothing special at all."
the city of bamberg has made it its business for years to demand equal opportunities for disabled people and to prevent discrimination against them. Another sign on this path has now been set with the acquisition of a braille printer. Texts can now be translated into braille and printed out in the office of nicole orf, the representative for the disabled.
Elisabeth seemuller, member of the advisory council for people with disabilities, tests the first expression right away. ""What you learn, you must first be able to convert in your brain", she says, explaining that not all visually impaired people can read braille.
Only about 20 percent of all visually impaired people are able to read braille. It’s because visual impairment often comes with age and complicated writing is best learned at a young age "also because the fine motor skills and sense of touch in the fingertips still need to be fully developed", says elisabeth seemuller.
Nicole orf is very grateful for the uncomplicated implementation of new projects. "And if one more purchase – be it a handicapped accessible playground equipment for children or a wheelchair lift in the indoor swimming pool – can help just one handicapped citizen, it will change the way he or she feels about life", says nicole orf.
The representative for the handicapped puts her heart and soul into her work. "She really is a shining light when it comes to breaking down barriers", estimates renate goller, chairwoman of the bamberger arbeitsgemeinschaft chronisch kranker und behinderter menschen (bamberger working group of chronically ill and disabled people).
Mayor andreas starke (SPD) is also "very proud" on his collaborator. He himself tries out the new reading machine, which will be freely available in the future in the area of the information center of the town hall at maxplatz.
The device should make it possible for the visually impaired to fill out applications independently. "But also simply times private post to read", nicole orf, the woman, explains how difficult it often is for disabled people to ask for help with ordinary things in everyday life.
It takes a bit of getting used to filling out applications on the enlarged screen. "I write like a three-year-old, andreas stark wonders during his first test run with the reader. Elizabeth seuller, who is blind, encourages him: "it’s just a matter of practice. After ten sets you can."