Equality and Diversity Officer at IU: Inklusion is a marathon, not a sprint.

Nicola Schmidt-Geheb, Equality and Diversity Officer at IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU): "Inclusion does not mean adapting people with disabilities to given circumstances, but finding solutions together with them that enable equal participation."


Erfurt, 01 December 2021 – The third of December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The day of action was created by the United Nations and has been held annually since 1993. The day aims to create more awareness for people with disabilities and promote their participation in society.

Around 7.9 million disabled people lived in Germany at the end of 2019. According to the 21st Social Survey of the German Student Union (2016), 11 per cent of students in Germany have one or more health impairments that make studying difficult.

Nicola Schmidt-Geheb, Equality and Diversity Officer at IU International University (IU) says: "Social conditions must be designed in such a way that persons with disabilities can participate equally in life in society. Of course, this also applies to barrier-free access to education. In order to be able to respond to the special needs of students with disabilities, universities must be aware of those needs, remove obstacles and enable students to concentrate on their studies. Students who are blind need different solutions than students who are deaf. Students with limited mobility need different solutions than students with mental disabilities. Shaping inclusion sustainably and fully is not a sprint, but a marathon - it requires commitment on all sides and staying power.

With over 75,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-recognised educational institution brings together more than 200 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes under its roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between on-campus study, dual study, distance learning and flexible combination models and thus shape their studies in a self-determined way. In addition, IU facilitates continuing education and promotes the idea of lifelong learning. The university's goal is to make education possible for as many people as possible. IU began operations in 2000 and is now represented in 28 German cities. It cooperates with over 10,000 companies and actively supports them in employee development. Its partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at:

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