Inclusion in Germany

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Germany was one of the first countries to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol on 30 March 2007, ratifying it on 24 February 2009. This was a major step towards bringing about an inclusive society. The Federal Government is working actively and intensively to implement the Convention at the national level.

The objective is to allow people with disabilities to participate equally in political, social, economic and cultural life, to offer them equal opportunities in education and the world of work, and to offer all citizens the chance to play their own self determined part in a barrier free society.

An important instrument for ratifying the Convention is the 2011 National Action Plan of the Federal Government, scheduled for a ten year period, which comprises a broad spectrum of fields of action and a concrete catalogue of measures. Several federal ministries, including the Federal Foreign Office, and the majority of the Länder, as well as a number of districts, local authorities and cities have already tabled their own action plans. These are supplemented by measures planned by companies and institutions such as universities and associations.

The action plans and planned measures are themselves the basis for a range of projects, campaigns and initiatives that aim to advance the cause of inclusion of people with disabilities in everyday life, such as the inclusion initiative for education and employment and the project “Barrierefreie Wahlen” (barrier free voting).
Against the backdrop of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has set up a dedicated website with more detailed information on the German law on participation (Bundesteilhabegesetz), in addition to relevant action plans and projects.