Disability and chronical disease
An underground station without an elevator? A movie without subtitles? Cash machines inaccessible for wheelchair users?
Persons with a disability are often excluded from everyday life. Even though chronic diseases, as opposed to disabilities, are not mentioned as a ground for protection in the General Act on Equal Treatment, they are also often a ground for discrimination. More than 25 per cent of all enquiries received by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency concern discrimination on grounds of disability and chronic diseases. 89 per cent of all severe disabilities are caused by disease in the course of one’s life, only 3 per cent are congenital or were acquired early in one’s life. Chronic diseases are diseases which can be treated with medication, but which cannot be cured completely and, thus, they constitute a permanent problem for those affected. This means: disability or chronic disease can affect all of us and concerns all of us, for whether it be in the working world or in everyday life – they often lead to exclusion of those affected.
Disabilities can limit the opportunities of those affected to participate in professional and everyday life. Some types of disabilities, such as physical or sensory impairments, are easily recognized as such in mainstream society, which leads to disadvantages for those affected since they are often considered less capable. In contrast, mental disorders are not apparent at first glance. However, these conditions, too, frequently limit people’s opportunities for participation.