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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


  • Online conversation: Do I say it? Dealing with disability, chronic or mental illness at work

    On June 27, 2024, an online discussion with Dr. Jana Bauer will take place in cooperation with the ZAB and the Career Service of Bielefeld University. The topic: How to find an individually suitable strategy to communicate or not communicate one's own disability or chronic illness in the application process and in the job. The discussion will reflect on relevant aspects of this decision-making process. Arguments will be presented to provide more clarity on how to deal with a disability or chronic illness in the work context. There will then be an opportunity to ask questions and engage in more

  • UniMaps 2.0 - Alpha Testers Wanted

    This year we have been working intensively on developing UniMaps version 2.0. This version represents a completely new development and is based on a new technological foundation. The UniMaps application is currently in the alpha more

  • Advice offered by SBV at the career entry fair <perspektive> : Applying with a disability or chronic illness

    On Wednesday, June 12, 2024, the career entry fair will take place in the Central Hall of Bielefeld University. In addition to around 70 regional and national companies and institutions from all sectors offering insights into their companies, the Zentrale Anlaufstelle Barrierefrei - ZAB would also like to provide interested students, young graduates, doctoral candidates and postdocs from all subjects at Bielefeld University and Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences with information at the more

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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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