Hamburg News: Tourism - one of the highlight events: the event Blue Port is shown with Elbphilharmonie during night time.
Wegbereiter der Inklusion: Beifall der gehörlosen Besucherinnen und Besucher © Büro der Senatskoordinatorin für die Gleichstellung behinderter Menschen

Hamburg Companies Promote Inclusion

Award granted to "pioneers of inclusion" in tourism

“To make a trip to Hamburg, to see its sights and museums and to visit its theatres and art exhibitions is just as important to people with disabilities as to anybody else”, says Ingrid Körner, the Senate Coordinator for Equal Opportunities of Disabled People, who awarded the “pioneer of inclusion 2015” prize on 3 December at city hall. This year, three companies have thus been honoured, including the hotel Scandic Hamburg Emporio, the Miniatur Wunderland, and the Ernst Deutsch Theater that stood out from the total of 20 candidates.

Make Inclusion Known

The laudations at the ceremony were held by Franz J. Klein, President of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association, Andreas Bartmann, Vice-President of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and Prof. Norbert Aust, CEO of the Tourism Association Hamburg. The award was presented for the second time. Last year, three projects were awarded in the field of sports. By granting the awards, Körner and her office team hope increase the acceptance of inclusion and make it more popular in business and society.

Financial losses

The world’s largest miniature railway operator Miniatur Wunderland was recognised for its special facilities for people with disabilities. At intervals of four to eight weeks, the museum in the UNESCO world heritage warehouse district opens its doors exclusively for wheelchair users. During several hours, visitors with handicap can explore all exhibits at leisure. The acceptance of a loss of revenue on these days meant a special insert for inclusion, thus the jury.

Design for All

The Scandic Hamburg Emporio was honoured for its barrier-free facilities. All staff is trained to meet the needs of people with handicap, and there is even an accessibility officer monitoring the the barrier-free standards of the hotel chain. In addition, there is a constantly updated catalogue with 135 points of action on the subject of inclusion. According to the jury, accessibility is an omnipresent standard at Scandic Hotel and included in the “Design for All”.

At Eye Level

The Ernst Deutsch Theater received the award for its “Theater plus” programme. Since 2012, it has been staging performances for the deaf, with each play being presented with sign language interpreters. Moreover, hearing-impaired people could receive support technical support. For visually impaired and blind people, audio description is available. “The jury was particularly impressed by the casual, natural approach, by which “ Theater plus” put healthy people and people with handicap on eye level”, Andreas Bartmann said in his eulogy.

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The Award's Criteria

To be recognised as a “pioneer of inclusion”, businesses, organisations, associations and individuals have to be based in Hamburg. Also, inclusion must be already being practiced in the organisation concerned, or in parts of the organisation. Furthermore, it is compulsory that people with and without disabilities enjoy equal rights and meet at eye level. Thus, the jury will take into account the number of participants, visitors, or guests that can take advantage of the offer, including, the length of the offer, and the time and expense involved.

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