Despite considerable advancements in recent years, it is frequently still customary that disabled people are perceived by their surroundings only in terms of their disability. All too often it happens that we lose our mutual sense of interconnection: the desire for normality, shelter, personality development, intimacy and privacy are all needs shared by everyone. To satisfy these for the disabled as well is therefore just as much our mission as the actual "therapy". Work with the disabled by the Theodor Fliedner Stiftung is one of the most advanced in all of Germany.
The central idea is to offer disabled people surroundings that connect the areas of living, work and leisure time into a whole, while taking into account the individual needs of every single person. The Dorf (Village) in Mülheim an the Ruhr shows how it can work: old and young, the disabled and non-disabled, live here together entirely as a matter of course. The Village offers both the openness and diversity of a "normal" community, simultaneously taking into account special needs for security and shelter.