More self-determination for people with disabilities

More self-determination for people with disabilities

How can people with disabilities take more control and plan for their own lives? At the annual day of Caritas Disability Aid in Lower Saxony, everything revolved around this very question on Tuesday in Hanover.

"The rather Rambo-like discussions of the past around ies such as inclusion are behind us," welcomed Dr. Hans-Jurgen Marcus, director of the Diozesan-Caritasverband Hildesheim, the approximately 150 guests and participants of the day. "Today we look at people with disabilities from their resources."This is why the question of how self-determination of people with, for example, mental impairments can function is becoming increasingly important in the everyday work of professional staff.

A heart for the vulnerable

"Every individual must be asked what is important to him or her, because every person, regardless of disability, is an individual, an image of God and something special," said Hildesheim Bishop Norbert Trelle during the opening ceremonies. "What makes a person human is not their abilities or their beauty, but the breath of God that dwells in all people. We have to learn to communicate directly with those affected, even if that sometimes means taking the slightly more strenuous route."He therefore feels great gratitude for the services of Caritas employees who have a "heart for the weak".

"Self-determination in disability care does not just mean being sensitive as a caregiver when someone verbally or nonverbally rejects a certain help," commented the expert, who was also invited, Prof. Dr. Andreas Lob-Hudepohl from the Catholic University of Applied Social Sciences in Berlin. "It also means that a person with disabilities has the freedom to say 'yes' to relationships with other people or with a community."The caregivers should not overprotect the people with disabilities, but assist like an advocate and thus give them dignity. A difficult balancing act, found the plenum, which discussed their questions in greater depth in workshops on topics such as self-determined sexuality of people with disabilities and self-determined living in old age.

People on the margins of society

Caritas is a globally active welfare organization of the Catholic Church and is particularly concerned with people who are pushed to the margins of society. Caritas operates many facilities for this purpose, including for people with disabilities, and offers counseling services in difficult life situations. In its organization, Caritas partly leans on the territorial structure of the German dioceses. Thus on the day of the handicapped assistance in Lower Saxony the Caritas federations of the diocese Hildesheim and the local federations from Osnabruck and from Vechta were represented, since they are all on the territorial area of the political country Lower Saxony. In addition to the Caritas Association of the Diocese of Hildesheim, the "mitten ins Leben" foundation of the Catholic Aid for the Disabled in the Diocese of Hildesheim was also the organizer of the Day of Aid for the Disabled.

Diocese of Hildesheim

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