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ZAB - Forum Accessibility

The ZAB - Forum Barrierefrei is the new event series of the ZAB around the topics of active participation and accessibility in universities and far beyond. Contributions from science and research as well as insights into practice offer an interdisciplinary and multi-layered examination of the conditions for success for an accessible society.

The ZAB - Forum Accessibility is

  • Versatile - in perspectives, topics, formats
  • Open - for students, university members, external parties
  • Innovative - sustainable, diverse, participative

Programme 2024

Diversity at an equal footing - On the importance of human dignity for our understanding of inclusion, diversity and participation
Date: Tuesday, 4 June 2024 7 - 8.30 p.m.
Venue: X-E0-001 and via livestream
Speaker: Prof. Dr Ralf Stoecker


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Route description

From the tram stop 'Universität' walk under the bridge towards the main university building and then turn right towards the X-building.

Alternatively, you can use UniMaps, the app for barrier-free campus navigation.


You can now register for the livestream.

Please note the data protection information.

30 years of health management

The ZAB Forum takes place on the eve of the celebratory Health Day to mark the 30th anniversary of health management at Bielefeld University.

Diversity at an equal footing - On the importance of human dignity for our understanding of inclusion, diversity and participation

Tuesday, 18 June 2024 from 7 - 8:30 p.m.
X-E0-001 and via livestream
Prof. Dr Ralf Stoecker

Since 2008 at the latest, when the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into force, it should be clear that everyone has the right to live in an inclusive and diverse society in which they can actively participate. However, what this means in concrete terms also depends on how this right can be justified. Why are inclusion, diversity and participation human rights? The answer can be found in the concept of human dignity. Only those who honour these rights respect human dignity. In his presentation, Bielefeld philosopher Ralf Stoecker explains this connection and draws conclusions for various subject areas.

Portrait of Ralf Stoecker
Photo: Private

Ralf Stoecker is Senior Professor of Philosophy at Bielefeld University. His working areas are practical philosophy, in particular the Philosophy of the Person, human dignity, agency and responsibility, as well as various topics in medical ethics. In recent years, two anthologies of Stoecker's essays have been published ("Theorie und Praxis der Menschenwürde" (2019), "Handelnde Personen" (2024)) as well as the new edition of the "Handbuch Angewandte Ethik" (2023), which he co-edited. Stoecker was a member of the board of the Academy for Ethics in Medicine until 2022.


Lecture Hall X-E0-001 has an inductive hearing system and is accessible at ground level.

The event will be accompanied on site by sign language interpreters and automatically subtitled live. Interpreting and subtitles will also be available in the livestream.
The event will be held in German language.

We kindly ask you to inform us of any further individual requirements at least one week before the event. We will be happy to support you.


Date: Tuesday, 28.11.2023 from 16:00 - 18:00 (c.t.)
Location: X-E0-001 and vie livestream (via Zoom)

Consultants: Prof. MD Christian Brandt, Prof.'in Dr. Lara Keuck, Prof.'in MD Tanja Sappok, Prof.'in MD Sabine Steinke
Chair: Ninia LaGrande

Since the 19th century, the diagnostic categories of many diseases have changed and continue to change in line with medical and social developments. At the same time, diagnoses, once made, often have far-reaching consequences - they are powerful. This becomes particularly clear when we look at the changing understanding of mental breakdowns and physical and mental impairments.

People with disabilities are particularly affected by the fundamental changeability and effectiveness of medical diagnoses. They often receive different diagnoses during the history of their treatment. Sometimes it takes project duration until the correct diagnosis is found, sometimes the state of medical knowledge changes and further diagnoses are added or earlier ones are revised. This changeability can have a variety of effects - on the one hand for patients who receive diagnoses and on the other hand for doctors who assign them and ideally also consider the effects of assigning diagnoses on patients.

This time at the ZAB Forum Accessibility, we present the perspective of those who research the changeability and effectiveness of diagnoses and apply medical categories such as diagnoses. How and how do diagnostic categories change? Can barriers to participation be built up or dismantled through the use of diagnoses, e.g. in connection with the financing conditions of the social insurance system? How do medical professionals deal with blurred boundaries in diagnostics and what contribution can reflexive research make to understanding medical categories?

Together with Ninia LaGrande, the consultants will explore questions about the effectiveness of changing diagnoses with regard to people with disabilities and the responsibility and pressure to act of the medical profession. The audience is cordially invited to join the discussion.


Portrait Christian Brandt
Photo: Sahra Jonek

Prof. Dr. med. Christian Brandt

Christian Brandt is a neurologist and epileptologist and head of the epilepsy outpatient clinic at the Bethel Epilepsy Centre, University Clinic for Epileptology, Bielefeld. He also heads the study coordination centre there. For many years, he has devoted himself clinically and scientifically to the connections between epilepsy and mental disability. He is chairman of the Commission on Epilepsy and Intellectual Disability of the German Society for Epileptology and a member and former chairman of the Intellectual Disability Task Force of the International League Against Epilepsy. Since January 2023, he has been Professor of Epileptology with a focus on disability medicine.

Portrait Lara Keuck
Photo: Peter Himsel

Prof.'in Dr. Lara Keuck

Lara Keuck is Professor of History and Philosophy of Medicine at Bielefeld University. Her work examines how knowledge about disease has changed over the long 20th century and how boundaries between health and disease have shifted. After her diploma in molecular biomedicine, she completed her doctorate in the subject History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine with a thesis on the functioning of medical classification systems as part of a Franco-German doctoral programme at Mainz University Medical School and the École normale supérieure in Paris. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at Humboldt University in Berlin, she contributed to a project on the rational use of fuzzy boundaries, which resulted in the book she co-edited, vagueness in psychiatry (Oxford University Press 2017). In 2015, she received a Branco Weiss Fellowship from ETH Zurich to establish and lead a junior research group on Learning from Alzheimer's Disease: a history of biomedical models of mental illness. For short research stays, she was an invited visiting scholar at Princeton, Exeter and Bordeaux Universities. In 2020, Lara Keuck was elected to The Young Academy by the Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Since 2021 she has been leading an independent Max Planck research team, research unit, research group on practices of validation in biomedical research at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. In 2022, she accepted a call to Bielefeld University, where she is a bridge professor in the Departments of History and Philosophy, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Science and the Medical School OWL and is helping to shape the new medical degree programme.

Portrait Tanja Sappok
Photo: Private

Univ.-Prof.'in Dr. med. Tanja Sappok

Univ.-Prof. MD habil. Tanja Sappok is Director of the University Clinic for Inclusive Medicine, Medicine for People with Disabilities at Mara gGmbH Hospital, University Hospital OWL, and University Professor of Mental Health in People with Disabilities, Focus on Mental Health, at the Faculty of Medicine, Bielefeld University, Germany. Clinically and scientifically, she works on diverse topics around the mental health of people with breakdowns in intelligence development, especially autism spectrum disorders, emotional developmental disorders, behavioural disorders and dementias. As a former president and board member of the European Association for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability (EAMHID) and vice president of the German Society for Mental Health in Intellectual Disability (DGSGB), she organises national and international conferences and publishes numerous books and scientific articles. She teaches at the Faculty of Medicine at Bielefeld University and uses her work to improve medical care for people with breakdowns in the development of intelligence.

Portrait Sabine Steinke
Photo: Private

Univ.-Prof.'in Dr. med. Sabine Steinke

Univ.-Prof. MD Sabine Steinke has been a W2 Professor at the Medical School OWL of Bielefeld University since 2023, specialising in "Medical care for people with disabilities and chronic diseases". Professor Steinke is a specialist in dermatology, venereology and allergology and received her clinical and scientific training at the universities of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Edinburgh (UK), Lyon (France) and Münster. In 2019, she habilitated at the University of Münster on the quality of care for patients with atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and chronic pruritus. Through her experience in the field of person-centred care research and quality of life research, her research projects and the training of students focus on the care situation and needs of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Since 2021, she has been running a large dermatology practice in Münster and will thus be one of the few university professors in Germany to combine clinical work in the outpatient care sector with university science and teaching.

Portrait Ninia LaGrande
Photo: Private

Ninia LaGrande

Ninia LaGrande lives and works in Hannover. She is a presenter, author and actress. Ninia moderates formats in front of the camera, on stage and at the podcast microphone. Her focus is on politics and pop culture. In 2022, she was appointed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the Equality Advisory Board of the German G7-Presidency, where she has contributed her expertise, especially in the field of intersectionality. In 2020, she was awarded the City of Hanover Culture Prize for her work. Her texts have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines. She has also published two volumes of her own short texts and columns with Blaulicht-Verlag. She currently hosts the podcasts "ganzschönlaut" for VETO magazine, "Zirkus Sideline" with Nina Meyer and "Die kleine schwarze Chaospraxis" with Denise M'Baye.

Portrait Theresia Degener
© Private

Date: Tuesday, 17.10.2023 from 18:00 - 19:30 (s.t.)
Location: Lecture Hall X-E0-002 and via Livestream

Consultant: Prof.'in Dr. Theresia Degener



The human rights model of disability originates from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is a rejection of the medical model that reduces disabled people to their (factual or ascribed) health impairments. Human rights violations such as institutionalisation, forced treatment, segregation and exclusion are legitimised with these impairments as individualised destinies. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the discrimination situation and the triage discussion in particular has again promoted the medical model of disability. Theresia Degener explains why the human rights model is the only way to the Build Back Better principle of the Sustainable Development Goals, even in times of crisis.

Photo from Dennis
Microsoft Germany Photo: Private

Date: Monday, 03.07.2023 14:00 -16:00 (s.t.)
Location: Lecture Hall X-E0-002

Consultant: Dennis Winkens


Dennis, also known as WheelyWorld on Twitch, is paraplegic from the neck down and supports other gamers with similar impairments. He controls his PC, his games and everything that goes with it exclusively with his mouth. Dennis is also an ambassador for Gaming without Borders, a general advocate for inclusion and works professionally in the rehabilitation and assistive technology industry. Dennis will explain to us how the QuadStick works, what it can do and which settings in games can help (him) to have an accessible gaming experience. He will tell us what added value computer games can have and to what extent he considers gaming to be inclusive. Afterwards, there will be the opportunity to play with and against Dennis.

To the photo gallery of the event with Dennis Winkens


Portrait of Rau Krauthausen
Photo: Private

Date: Thursday, 04 May 2023 16:00 - 17:30 (s.t.)
Location: Room X-E0-001 and via livestream

Consultant: Raul Aguayo-Krauthausen

Under the motto "Shaping the future without barriers" of this year's European Day of Protest for the Equality of People with Disabilities, Rector Prof. Gerhard Sagerer will open the first ZAB - Forum Barrierefrei. On this day, activist Raul Krauthausen will give us food for thought on what it takes to make society accessible. He will read from his new book "Wer Inklusion will, findet einen Weg. Those who don't want it will find excuses."

Rau Krauthausen raises fundamental and often uncomfortable questions about inclusion in Germany, makes his readers confront their own Ableism, and develops an idea of how to really live inclusion at all levels.

Raul Aguayo-Krauthausen, born in Peru in 1980, grew up in Berlin. He is in a wheelchair and works as an inclusion activist for, among others, SOZIALHELDEN, a non-profit association he founded himself in 2004. As a studied communication economist and design thinker, he has been active in the internet and media world for over 15 years. He invented the Wheelmap, a map for wheelchair-accessible places, protested in front of the Bundestag for a good participation and equality law, obtained a constitutional complaint against the triage regulation and educates people about disability in blog articles, TV contributions and in his podcasts, among other things. Since 2015, he has hosted his own talk show, "KRAUTHAUSEN - face to face". He was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon for his services to the social concerns of disabled and socially disadvantaged people.

To the photo gallery of the event with Raul Krauthausen

Accessibility participation

Lecture Hall X-E0-001 has an inductive loop system and is accessible at ground level.

The event will be accompanied on site by sign language interpreters and will be automatically subtitled live. Interpretation and subtitles will also be available in the livestream.

We kindly ask you to inform us of any further individual needs at the latest one week before the event. We will be happy to assist you.

The event will be held in German.


Plan from the stop to the X-building

From the tram stop 'Universität' to the X building, walk under the bridge towards the main university building and then turn right towards the X building.

Alternatively, you can use UniMaps , the app for accessible campus navigation.

Join Zoommeeting:

Meeting ID: 672 5945 0191 Password: 007531

Changeability and Effectiveness of Medical Diagnosis

Date: Tuesday, 28.11.2023 from 16:00 - 18:00 (c.t.)
Location: X-E0-001 and vie livestream (via Zoom)

Consultants: Prof. MD Christian Brandt, Prof.'in Dr. Lara Keuck, Prof.'in MD Tanja Sappok, Prof.'in MD Sabine Steinke
Chair: Ninia LaGrande

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