Breaking down barriers

Enabling encounters – overcoming fear of contact

The Bundeswehr Medical Service is particularly linked to the legacy of the Games for rehabilitation and inclusion. We want to develop awareness and change attitudes. We initiate networking and innovation. With our partners from the Bundeswehr and the civilian sector, we have therefore set up the TEAM RESPECT Area. Come and visit us – become part of the TEAM RESPECT.


In Germany, 7.8 million people live with a recognised severe disability. Almost 10,000 servicemen and women as well as civilian personnel with a degree of disability (reduced capacity for gainful employment) of over 50 contribute to the safety of our country in the Bundeswehr. They are the team behind the Invictus team.

The Bundeswehr supports the Federal Government’s National Action Plan 2.0 for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is our responsibility to show the importance of rehabilitation, inclusion and diversity for society as a whole. Because rehabilitation is a right, regardless of cause and diagnosis. And it only succeeds in cooperation.

The TEAM RESPECT contributes to raising social awareness on the topics of rehabilitation and inclusion. We want to be the driving force for the further development of rehabilitation in the Bundeswehr. The medical service has therefore launched the idea of the TEAM RESPECT Area with a varied programme and interactive offers. We are supported in this by well-known partners from the Bundeswehr and from the civilian sector. Our special thanks go to the patients who, with their willingness to share their experiences with us, are making a special mark on the legacy of the Games. They are all part of the Invictus idea and TEAM RESPECT.


“Rehabilitation is more than therapy. Rehabilitation is multi-professional management to overcome individual consequences of injury or illness in the professional and private environment. For my team and me, rehabilitation in cooperation is a question of respect for those affected and their relatives.”

Colonel (MC) Dr Lison, Director, Bundeswehr Centre of Sports Medicine, Centre of Excellence for Somatic Rehabilitation in the Medical Service


In the TEAM RESPECT Area, the Bundeswehr Medical Service promotes the raising of awareness for inclusion and rehabilitation. Supported by our partners, we stand up for the right to rehabilitation and the best possible participation in social life. We make it clear how physical, mental, intellectual and sensory impairments become a disability due to visible and invisible barriers – and how we can counteract this.

The TEAM RESPECT Area is a place of encounter, to better understand how impairments become disabilities. Because inclusion requires respectful cooperation. And attitudes, language, fears and lack of knowledge can also become barriers. That is why we want to bring people together for dialogue: People without disabilities and people affected by disabilities themselves, their families and friends, employers, comrades and superiors are invited to listen, experience and discuss.

Through your visit, you too can contribute to developing acceptance and understanding for each other. For pupils, we offer special programmes in the TEAM RESPECT Area to better understand disability and how it comes to be. Only by working together can we enable participation.


“As the central point of contact of the Bundeswehr Medical Service during the Invictus Games 2023 in Düsseldorf, I am looking forward to the encounters and the associated opportunity to promote the idea of inclusion and rehabilitation of the Games in a society-wide approach.”

Brigadier General (MC) Dr Jürgen Meyer, Director (DCOS), Bundeswehr Medical Service Headquarters


Together with our partners Ottobock, the world market leader for prosthetics, the Federal Association of Guilds for Orthopaedic Technology (Bundesinnungsverband Orthopädietechnik, BIV-OT) and the hospitals of the professional association (BG clinics), we want to make it possible in the TEAM RESPECT Area to experience how modern orthopaedic technology can contribute to the best possible participation in social life. The focus is always on the individual. Because the orthopaedic aid does not shape the person, but the person shapes the orthopaedic aid.
In the Event Area, experts from the BG clinics and selected patients will show how they have been able to maintain their participation in working life through work-related rehabilitation and the provision of workplace-related aids for their impairments.

In the World of Experience, we are designing an interactive exhibition for orthopaedic technology. What are the possibilities and limitations of technical innovation? How do barriers limit the effectiveness of orthopaedic aids? Come and talk to doctors, technicians, physiotherapists and people affected. Experience prosthetics, orthotics and wheelchair technology first-hand – and become part of the TEAM RESPECT.