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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)

Sign of a wheelchair user on a glass door
© ZAB - Bielefeld University

Accessible University

Accessibility Services (ZAB)

The ZAB is the central point of contact for all issues relating to accessibility and the active participation of people with disabilities or chronic illnesses at Bielefeld University. The ZAB offers expertise

• 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


  • Resolution on the implementation of the Diversity Action Plan in the Commission for University Development

    The Vice-Rector for International Affairs and Diversity and the Representative for Severely Disabled Students presented and discussed the Diversity Action Plan in the Commission for University Development. The commission expressly welcomes the implementation of the action plan and also suggests making offers for students more visible and expanding more

  • UniMaps 1.4.2 Update

    Version 1.4.2 of the UniMaps Android app was released on 7.6.2021.

    In this version, the room search has been revised. With the new category "Nearby" you can be navigated to the nearest toilet, defibrillator or place of learning. In addition, some bugs have been fixed and the stability of the app has been improved. more

  • Rectorate decides to implement the Diversity Action Plan

    The Diversity-Sensitive and Barrier-Free University of Bielefeld Action Plan (in short: "Diversity Action Plan") is implemented with the decision of the Rectorate.
    This makes Bielefeld University the first university in Germany to bring together the cross-cutting issue of diversity within the framework of a strategic action programme. We are pleased that our concept was able to convince and has now been anchored university-wide under the leadership of the Prorectorate for International Affairs and Diversity, Human Resources Development Science, the Representative Council for Severely Disabled Persons and Equal Opportunities. more

More News

ZAB - Insights

Short questions – quick answers


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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