Women’s Column: Laura Gehlhaar, Advocating for Inclusion and Empowerment of People with Disabilities
An Overview of the Life, Activism, and Works of Laura GehlhaarMay 10th, 2023
Laura Gehlhaar is a German author, activist, and coach who writes about her life as a person with a disability and advocates for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in German society. Her work includes writing for a blog, creating social media campaigns, and speaking about social inclusion.
Laura Gehlhaar was born on January 8, 1983, in Düsseldorf, Germany. At the age of eleven, she was diagnosed with a muscle disease, and at twenty-three, she decided to start using a wheelchair. She studied social pedagogy and psychology in the Netherlands and Berlin after completing her Abitur. Following her studies, Gehlhaar worked as a social pedagogue in psychiatry and as an advertising copywriter. In 2008, she moved to Berlin, where she completed a mediation and coaching program at the European University Association (EUA) of the Free University of Berlin. For several years, she has been working as a coach, copywriter, and inclusion consultant for businesses.
Gehlhaar is a passionate advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in German society. She is a member of the Berlin-based organization Sozialhelden, where she supports the "Wheelmap," an online map where people can locate accessible places. Additionally, she writes for the blog "leidmedien.de," which aims to educate journalists on how to report more accurately on people with disabilities.
In 2014, Gehlhaar began writing her own blog, "Frau Gehlhaar," where she shares stories about her life in a wheelchair. Her blog gained a large following, and she has since become a well-known blogger and activist for the rights of people with disabilities in Germany. In September 2016, she published her first book, “Kann man da noch was machen? Geschichten aus dem Alltag einer Rollstuhlfahrerin“, which means "Can anything be done there? Stories from the everyday life of a wheelchair user," which is a collection of entertaining and thought-provoking stories about her life as a woman in a wheelchair in Berlin.
Gehlhaar's work is particularly relevant to the field of cultural diplomacy. As an author, activist, and coach, she is committed to building bridges of understanding and inclusion between people with disabilities and the wider society. By sharing her own experiences and advocating for greater inclusion, she is helping to promote social and cultural change in Germany and beyond.
In conclusion, Laura Gehlhaar is an inspiring figure who is making a significant contribution to the promotion of inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities in Germany. Her work as an author, blogger, and coach is helping to raise awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities, and her advocacy efforts are helping to build a more inclusive and accessible society.