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From Integration to Inclusion

New employment agreement signed for severely disabled and chronically ill people

Freiburg, Jan 08, 2019

From Integration to Inclusion

Caption: See press release. Photo: Thomas Kunz

The rectorate, representatives for disabled employees, commissioners for inclusion, and the University of Freiburg staff council have signed a new inclusion agreement that addresses close cooperation in daily university life and makes provisions for a new inclusion team, regulations, and processes for hiring decisions and employment, as well as regular evaluations. The goal of the accord is to offer severely disabled or chronically ill people improved opportunities in their working and professional lives and to promote advancement in their jobs, training, and continuing education. "Inclusion views people as diverse individuals who are equal and have equal rights, their differences notwithstanding," said Head of Administration Dr. Matthias Schenek. "We would like to shape our employees’ environment in such a way that they may take part in working life regardless of disability or chronic illness,” he added.

This approach involves a fundamental change relative to the integration agreement that was concluded in 2005, which was based on the concept that there was a largely homogenous majority in which groups of outsiders had to be integrated. By contrast, inclusion envisages making the surroundings fit individuals by shaping the environment so it is accessible and allows everyone to take part. The University of Freiburg’s goal is to increase the proportion of employees who are disabled or chronically ill. The new agreement provides for the implementation of a series of measures to achieve this aim. The commissioners for inclusion, the staff council, the university medical service, the representative for the disabled, and the disabled or chronically ill themselves will all have a decisive, cooperative role to play in the university’s daily life. A newly established inclusion team will also contribute to raising awareness of and sensitivity for these issues within the university community. For one thing, the inclusion agreement aims to motivate disabled people and the chronically ill to pursue their rights while they cooperatively shape understanding and acceptance of people’s diverse strengths and weaknesses. Administrators and all other university staff will be given the opportunity to join in training programs, projects, and seminars on the topic of inclusion.

Furthermore, the inclusion agreement sets clear rules for things ranging from how positions are advertised, the application process, the decision to employ a person, work itself, and beyond, to possible termination of employment. The university is taking on additional obligations as well. The Office of Construction and Development Planning (“Stabsstelle Bau- und Entwicklungsplanung”) is to cooperate in working towards accessibility with Asset and Building Management – Baden-Württemberg (“Vermögen und Bau Baden-Württemberg”) when renovation and new projects are undertaken. At the same time, the university's internet presentation, as well as its IT products, should be universally accessible in as far as the latest technologically will allow. An evaluation will take place every three years to assess how well the inclusion measures are working and where improvements can be made.'

Inclusion Agreement Brochure (pdf, in German)


Staff Council Chairman Helmut Waller, Inclusion Commissioner Petra Markmeyer-Pieles, Disabled Employees’ Representative Manfred Zahn, Rector Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Inclusion Commissioner Walter Willaredt, and Administrative Director Matthias Schenek, at the signing of the Inclusion agreement.
Photo: Thomas Kunz


Walter Willaredt
Inclusion Commissioner / Director of Administrative Department 1 – Organizational Development and Controlling
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-4350

Manfred Zahn
Representative for Disabled Employees
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-9606