Mentally disabled parental rights in trading

Official texts: People with disabilities have the right to use easy language

Berlin people with intellectual disabilities should in future have a legal right to official texts in special easy language. This provides for changes to the Disability Equality Act, which passed the Federal Cabinet on Wednesday. The claim should apply from 2018 to federal authorities such as the German Federal Pension Insurance. Easy language - including short sentences - should make it easier for people to understand.

Overall, physically and mentally handicapped people should encounter fewer steps, stairs, offers without Braille, subtitles and other barriers. The 14-year-old Equal Opportunities Act only provides obligations for federal authorities, but not for restaurants, shops, practices or others. It should stay that way. Social Minister Andrea Nahles (SPD) spoke of a good step. "I am aware that we still have a lot to do," she said. Extending the regulations to state authorities and the private sector could not be enforced in the government.

Around 10 million people with disabilities live in Germany. 7.5 million people are severely disabled according to the latest figures.

There are new plans to set up an arbitration board at the Federal Commissioner for the Disabled. Those affected should be able to enforce their rights more easily here. Steps such as the alignment of technical infrastructure to the needs of the disabled are to be financially supported. A federal specialist office for accessibility will also be created to advise authorities and companies. The amendment is now going through the parliamentary procedure.

The disability officer Verena Bentele welcomed the law, but urged more binding force and the involvement of the private sector. That this did not succeed is a "very big disappointment". She advocated a master plan to remove barriers.

Accessibility to federal authorities, for example for wheelchair users, is also to be improved. In the future, obstacles should also be eliminated for smaller conversions in buildings.

Social associations criticized the law as inadequate. VdK President Ulrike Mascher said that there was a lack of accessibility and offers for the disabled on the railways, airlines, taxis and rental cars, on the Internet and on private TV channels. The Sozialverband Deutschland complained about the exclusion of the private sector.