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  • Accessibility Services

    Logo der ZAB, bunte Kreise mit Schriftzug Zentrale Anlaufstelle Barrierefrei
    a blind student in front of building
    © ZAB - Bielefeld University

Accessibility Services (ZAB)

Accessibility Services (ZAB)

• on accessible and diversity-sensitive university development

• in digital accessibility

• for prospective students, students and lecturers on studying with disabilities or chronic illnesses

• for employees and managers on employment with disabilities or chronic illnesses


  • New training programme starts

    In 2023, we will start a new training programme. It replaces the previous training on the "Basics of Digital Accessibility" and is intended to enable a deeper exchange between lecturers and participants on the one hand, and on the other hand, participants should learn and practice how to implement accessibility more

  • An informative visit: Working Group 3 of the Faculty of Education at the ZAB

    On 23 January 2023, the lecturers of Working Group 3 (AG3) of the Faculty of Education at Bielefeld University visited ZAB - Zentrale Anlaufstelle Barrierefrei  to learn more about its tasks and goals and to get to know the ZAB's services for students and employees with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

    The focus was on the workrooms for students on the ZAB corridor. Markus Paulußen, ZAB's accessibility officer, showed the group assistive technologies in the Louis Braille room, e.g. screen readers at the computer workstations, Braille displays and Braille printers, as well as the magnification device, which enables people with visual impairments to enlarge texts individually or to have them read aloud. Afterwards, we went to the Theresia Degener room, which is specially designed for people who need an environment that is as free of disturbances as possible in which to work. Students can take exams here, for example. With these rooms, the ZAB supports the self-study of students with disabilities or chronic illnesses who, due to their disabilities, require a particularly low-stimulus environment or assistive more

  • Welcome to the new year!

    Welcome to the new year! We hope you all had a relaxing and fulfilling time during the holidays. ZAB is now moving forward at full speed, because we are also looking forward to many exciting projects in the New more

More News

ZAB - Insights

  • Logo Instagram


    We publish photos from the ZAB, drawings for stories on the topic of disability, text-image combinations on the topics of disability, university and barriers or Accessibility.

    Furthermore, news from the ZAB, links to topics and contents of the ZAB, current news, interviews and field reports, projects, events, tips on digital accessibility.

    Direkt zu Instagram
  • a blind student gropes the Tactile Plan
    © ZAB - Universität Bielefeld

    ZAB videos

    Interviews and testimonials from people with disabilities, physical or mental limitations, explanatory videos and the presentation of the UniMaps app can be found on the subpages.

    Videos der ZAB
  • a drawing of a person at a desk
    © ZAB - Universität Bielefeld

    Field reports as comic

    A different format for a change. We use imagery as a way to give visual voice to complex experiences of disability, mental or chronic illness.



What is accessibility?

Grey-yellow orientation sign with braille
© ZAB - Bielefeld University

"Building and other facilities, means of transport, technical items of daily use, information processing systems, acoustic and visual sources of information and communication facilities as well as other designed areas of life are considered accessible if they can be located, accessed and used by persons with disabilities in the usual way, without any particular difficulty and, in principle, without the assistance of others. In this context, the use of disability-related aids is permissible". (§4 Disability Equality Act - BGG).

A barrier is an obstacle. If accessibility is to achieved, then the obstacles in everyday life should be minimised so that everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or not, can have the same opportunity to live their life independently and autonomously.

In particular, the barriers and prejudices that exist in people's minds must be dismantled by challenging attitudes and actions. After all, discrimination is also a barrier.

Why is accessibility important!

Entrance of the university for wheelchair users with symbol of a wheelchair user / wheelchair user on the glass door
© ZAB - Bielefeld University

Accessibility is not just a concept for people with disabilities, but for people of all ages, with and without impairments. All people benefit from accessibility.

Accessibility is mandatory for 10% of people to actively participate in life. This applies in particular to blind, visually impaired or deaf people. But many other people are also highly dependent on it.

Accessibility is necessary for 30 to 40% of people to enable active participation on a sustained basis. This applies to all people with an impairment, disability or chronic illness. This could be a matter of ensuring high contrast in the digital or built environment, or providing different ways to perceive something according to the two-senses principle.

Accessibility is something that for 100%, i.e. all people provides convenience at the very least. Because there is one thing that all people have in common: they are ageing, for example, and their physical capacity or perceptive ability is decreasing. A lift, for example, is absolutely essential for people in wheelchairs, necessary for people with mobility impairments, and convenient for everyone else, whether they have luggage, a pram or are simply having trouble getting up the stairs.

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