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Inclusion in General Education

Concerning the inclusive education of children with a disability in schools and PE, it is important to note that the 16 states ("Länder") each follow their own particular state school law. There is no general German policy with regards to inclusive education. In some "Länder" children with a disability attend special schools, in other "Länder" inclusive education is being stipulated by law.

For example: The school law of the state of Berlin ensures special support ("sonderpädagogischer Förderbedarf") for students with learning educational and developmental difficulties. Support is provided in the following areas: "hearing", "visual", "speech", "learning", "intellectual development", "physical and motor development", "emotional and social development", "autism", and "students with health problems". This support can be provided at inclusive school level or in special schools. Education should preferably take place in inclusive settings. It includes all subjects. In Berlin , special training in inclusive education is mandatory for all students at university who are preparing to become teachers.

PE is a compulsory subject for all children. Children attend between 2 and 4 hours of PE each week. However, in inclusive settings and special schools, children with disbalities may be excused by medical doctors. In inclusive education, there is a system of additional teachers providing extra support for disabled children in inclusive settings. However, these support teachers are rarely available for the subject of PE, this is another problem complicating the participation of disabled students in inclusive PE classes. To promote PE and schoolsports, some cooperation initiatives between schools and sportsclubs were developed.

In general, about 13.3 % of pupils with special educational needs are educated in regular schools, 86.7 % of these children attend special schools.

Inclusion in Sports

The National federation for the Sport of the Disabled (National Paralympic Committee / Deutscher Behindertensportverband ) is the umbrella organization for individuals with all types of disabilities except hearing impairments and offers a wide variety of recreational and competitive sport opportunities. The aims and objectives of the DBS are:

  1. to offer all individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate in sports
  2. to assist in the development of each individual's abilities and interests in sport
  3. to prevent the development of further disabilities in high risk individuals
  4. to enhance the socialization process of individuals with disabilities through sport and physical activities.

Furthermore there are a range of regional federation and local clubs involved in organising sports for disabled. Each of the 16 states (Länder) has its own state sports organisation.

In addition there is a national umbrella deaf sport organization: Deutscher Gehörlosen-Sportverband (DGS). The DGS was founded in 1910. The DGS organizes competitions and sport training opportunities for individuals who are deaf or have hearing impairments in 19 sports. There are 15 deaf sports organisations on state level.

Special Olympics Germany organizes sport training and competition opportunities for individuals with a mental disability.

The National Information Centre for Sport for Persons with a Disability collects all information on sport for people with a disability in Germany . On the website you can find links and addresses of federations which offer sports for these groups. You can also ask free advice to the Information Centre itself.

There is only limited cooperation between disabled sports organisations and regular sports organisations. The cooperation structures that are reported most often are a shared use of facilities, equipment and training spaces.

Inclusion in Employment

The following summary is based on the report of the German Government concerning the situation of persons with a disability and the development of their participation, published in 2004.

Employment of persons with a severe disability

The two relevant laws can be found in social law IX and III which include a complex system of support to balance disadvantages and extra costs of persons with a severe disability. This includes:

  • benefits to support persons with a severe disability to participate in the labour market
  • integration services to consult and support employees with a severe disability and employers
  • a system of duties of employment and equalisation payment
  • a representation of persons with a severe disability at workplaces
  • special protection against notice
  • integration projects which serve as a link between the general labour market and workshops for persons with a disability.

In all agencies for employment in Germany special units have been established to ensure integration of persons with a disability.

In order to ensure the integration of persons with severe disabilities into the labour market new laws have been introduced in 2000.

Financed benefits are given to the employers, up to 70% of the salary of the employee. There are also financial benefits for young persons with a disability during the training phases, e.g. during the last year up to 80% of their training salary.

 

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