|Achim Giesa and Detlef Erasmy are two self-advocates from Germany.
They received an award.
The award was for making sure that people with disabilities in Germany
will get a better disability card.
The ceremony took place in Bremen.
Achim Giesa and Detlef Erasmy thanked all the people which helped
them with their work.
Achim Giesa and Detlef Erasmy have been awarded with the Federal Order of Merit for their perseverance and their exemplary dedication to the cause of people with disabilities, during a ceremony that took place at Bremen City Hall.
As members of the self-advocacy group within Lebenshifle in Bremen, the two self-advocates have successfully lobbied for the change of the format disability cards are issued in. Thanks to Achim Giesa, the group’s chairperson, his deputy Detlef Erasmy, and their long-running campaign, the new German disability cards, are designed in a credit card format.
“This honor is leading the way: in full participation and with exemplary dedication, people with intellectual disabilities lobbied for their rights and, with some support from Lebenshifle, achieved success for all disabled people in Germany “, commented the Lebenshifle National Chairperson and the German Bundestag Vice-President, Ulla Schmidt.
Ulla Schmidt stressed the importance of the involvement of people with disabilities – in the association and in society: “The Council of people with disabilities in Lebenshifle, which Achim Giesa belongs to also, has been advising the Federal Board for 14 years now and discrimination has always been a frequent topic. The new card is an important step in making day to day discrimination a thing of the past.”
Upon receiving the Federal Order of Merit, Achim Giesa and Detlef Erasmy – visibly touched – thanked their self-advocacy group and all other supporters who helped them achieve their goal. During their lengthy campaign, they collected over 20 000 signatures in support of the disability card, spoke with state and federal level politicians, and even issued a proposal for the new card’s design.
The first new disability cards started being issued on January 1st 2013 and as of 1 January 2015 the issuing authorities will only be allowed to give out disability cards in this format.
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