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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

News

  • Rare are many - International Rare Disease Day

    300 million people worldwide are affected by a rare disease. That's 1 in 20, so rare is not rare! This year is a very special Rare Disease Day, because today is the rarest International Rare Disease Day.
    ...read more

  • New competence center to promote digital accessibility at universities

    Universities play a decisive role in the digital transformation of our society. In order to live up to this responsibility and ensure equal participation for all students and employees, the new Competence Center for Barrier-Free Digital University Administration.NRW of the Disabled Persons' Representation / ZAB - Zentrale Anlaufstelle Barrierefrei will sustainably promote digital accessibility at universities in North Rhine-Westphalia....read more

  • SHUFFLE Continues

    The collaborative project SHUFFLE is set to continue its funding through the "Innovation in Higher Education Teaching" foundation, which has approved an extension until the end of December 2025, extending the original duration by 17 months. ...read more

More News

ZAB - Insights

  • Logo Instagram

    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.

    Erfahrungsberichte

Accessibility

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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