Members of the Reference Group
This space is used to offer active members of the reference group the opportunity to introduce themselves.
My name is Franz Hoffmann, I was born in Vienna and I live here. I work voluntary as president of the Freak Club (Freak Radio and Freak Online) and participate in various other projects.
I need bigger types for better reading and a little more time for writing. But I have written fifty Easy-to-Read texts with my colleagues and have been interviewed for radio broadcasts and TV shows. It is important to point out, that people with learning difficulties need more time, but are able to learn much more than usually expected.
I am a member of the reference group to call attention to problems of people with learning difficulties. I want to show to students and researchers, what we are concerned about and that we are able to make a change.
I joined reference group meetings in Innsbruck and Vienna and worked on a research project of the AMS. I also made many presentations, visited science congresses and worked as an expert with students in university courses. There I was especially pleased about the students’ interest in problems of people with learning difficulties.Self-advocacy groups are very important. They should be independent of institutions to avoid interference and pressure. Directors of such institutions often underestimate the self-advocacy abilities.
My name is Michaela Koenig and I’m a very special person. I was born in Vienna and grew up in Algeria. There I visited a german school. My past is not that interesting and I don’t want to speak about it. I’ve a sister called Margit and a brother called Oliver. We get along well. In particular my brother is very important to me.
I'm a writer and a painter. I gave many readings, for example in Bochum, Weimar, Wiesbaden, Brixen, Bonn and München, and I've published two books. Moreover I sold some of my pictures. I hope that sometimes I can earn my livelihood with it.
I like to do research and I've attended many congresses, the last one was in Innsbruck.
My name is Wolfgang Orehounig and I'm 28 years old. I'm a member of the reference group from the very beginning. I name myself a researcher even if I've learning difficulties. I'm attended a participative research seminar at the University of Vienna. There my reserching themes were 'health and people with learning disabilities' and 'homosexuality and people with learning disabilities'. Through the attendance at the seminar I got contact with the University College of Teacher Education. There I became one of the initiators of an empowerment course. I finished the course as one of the first.
Attendance at conferences:
My name is Daniela Pittl. Since October I work in a restaurant of an organisation called 'Lebenshilfe' in Tirol. There I'm in the service. The restaurant is called 'Lunchhaus' and there are working other people with learning disabilities too. Since October I hold a job and earn my own money.
Since 2002 I'm an active member of a self advocate group.
Since 2008 I work in the reference group.
Now I work together with other people with learning disabilities on a research project of the AMS too.
My name is Simon Prucker, I'm 26 years old and I'm from Innsbruck. Since I was born I've a learning disability. But I adapt well to the situation.
Since October 2008 I'm in the reference group of the research project 'vocational participation of people with intellectual disabilities'. There my main concern is how people with learning disabilities can be integrated in the regular labour market. As a person with a learning disability I know how difficult it is to get a job with a disability. It is a close fight. I've attended many congresses, for example 'Heilpädagogischer Kongress' in Vienna or 'InklusionsforscherInnentagung' in Innsbruck.
I was also an active member of a self advocate group for five years. Now I want to focus on my new job in an advisory centre. In future I would like to do peer counselling. That means that I would like to advise other people with learning disabilities. I think it is important that people with disabilities participate on research or do research by themselves. I'm very eager of how the reference group will work together in the future.
My name is Renate Rakuschan. I work in a textil-group and I'm part of a dancing group in an organisation called 'Balance'. I also work for 'biv-integrativ' in an advisory group. There we make proposal for courses you can attend in adult education centres.
At the University of Vienna I had participated in a seminar called 'participatory research methods'. There we did research together with students and published the results on a congress in Bad Boll. In the reference group it is important for us, that research is with us and not about us. For me research is important to find strategies for a better life for people with disabilities.
My name is Monika Rauchberger. Since 2002 I'm the project manager by Wibs. Wibs is an information center for people with learning difficulties. I've made different trainings, for example peer counseling training and others. My particular research interests lie in the area of self- determination and participation. I think it is very important that you can live self determinate and that there are no barriers. I've participated on the research project of the University of Vienna because I like to talk about my life story and I can sympathize with other people with learning difficulties.
Other Members of the Reference Group
- Blaha Josef
- Cay Filiz