Green Academy Bodjak, Hungary
4 August 2012
Aspects of poverty: Life in a wheelchair
Zoltan Vincze, media artist
Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, spokesperson of the Green Seniors, Vienna
Berta Halmos, moderator
Presentation of a film by Zoltan Vincze “Life in a wheelchair”, on how to manage life with a handicap and comparing rehabilitation in Austria and Hungary.
Presentation by Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel of a video clip “How accessible is Vienna?”, produced by Green Members of the Vienna City Council, who initiated and conducted the test in Vienna (Monika Vana, Birgit Hebein). Presentation of the Green EU project drawing attention to construction barriers in European countries (initiated by the Green European Representative Marije Cornelissen)
Zoltan Vincze considers the situation of disabled persons in Hungary extremely disadvantageous. Rehabilitation is insufficient, disabled persons are almost completely absent from public life and conscience; there is neither a political interest nor a strong representative body for the disabled.
Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel considers the Hungarian Greens to be a new political movement that could lobby for the disabled.
The argument about high costs can be met by cost-benefit calculations when there is good rehabilitation and support for an independent life. Prevention and rehabilitation are cheaper than no care or just repair medicine.
Zoltan Vincze thinks the best chance is a powerful resistance and individual strategies in favour of others and draws the attention to these problems with his media projects.
Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel points out, that people with various disabilities should increasingly become political representatives within the Green party, in order to advocate policies for people with disabilities. Helene Jarmer is a Member of Parliament for the Austrian Green party representing deaf women’s interests.
Civil society, and especially persons with different needs should request the political representatives (of the Greens) to submit amendments in their favour (e.g. in order to remove barriers). The Hungarian Greens could become pioneers in this respect.
Rehabilitation must not be reduced solely to the ability to return to the work process.
Zoltan Vincze stresses the need to support initiatives of persons with special needs.
Thus, also projects supported by EU funds should be tested whether they make sense and whether their effects are long lasting.