What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you?
Frank Lackner: Surviving blood poisoning twice, climbing onto changing tables (70 cm above the floor) when going to the toilet in ICE trains and using escalators in Hamburg, Essen and Vienna. The assistance of doctors and passers-by was very important.
What can the assistive technology industry learn from the Corona pandemic to make life easier and/or better for people with disabilities in the future?
Frank Lackner: Nowadays, wheelchairs, for example, are made in the Far East using sometimes inferior materials with a shorter lifespan ("to break quickly") and spare parts are harder to come by. But that was already the case before Corona. Apart from that, disabled people should not be disadvantaged in hospitals due to triage.
If nothing was impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why?
Frank Lackner: The Federal President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the President of the European Commission, Dr Ursula von der Leyen. I like both of them very much and, because of their high political positions, they could perhaps make a difference for people with disabilities.
What was your best REHACARE experience?
Frank Lackner: REHACARE 2022, even though it was not that interesting for me in terms of the exhibition products. This was the first time I appeared as a product presenter for disabled toilet couches. By the way, I also managed to do the same at the IAA Transport Fair 2022 in Hanover and the Cable Car World mountain railway fair 2022 in Essen.
What I wanted to say...
About INTERROLLI: The International Citizens' Initiative for Wheelchair Users' Interests (INTERROLLI) is an international group of physically disabled and non-disabled people who have got to know each other over the last 32 years, mainly through advertising and signature campaigns. INTERROLLI is committed to ensuring that public buildings and means of transport are as accessible as possible for wheelchair users, people with walking difficulties and people who use prams. The initiative, which has its headquarters in Göttingen, currently has 155 members from 15 countries.
INTERROLLI is currently working on the topics "Wheelchair-friendly equipment of railway trains and public buildings with disabled toilet couches and ramps", "Wheelchair-friendly equipment of vending machines in car parks and petrol stations" and "Equipment of public disabled toilets with toilet couches and improved emergency calls".