International week


What is the International Week? (LINK)

For one week in spring, guest lecturers from (partner) universities from all over the world are invited by lecturers of Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences to enrich all campus locations with international and intercultural (teaching) events and a varied supporting programme.

The following program was offered during the International week:


2022 (is planned)

Health Information for people with intellectual disabilities. Promoting health with target-orientated information preparation

On this site are some information. For more details and videos see LINK.

Brief desription

Health information is all information about the own health. This information covers a broad spectrum, such as information about symptoms or diagnoses, information about health services and where to find the best help for own health problems, as well as information about health promotion and prevention. It is very important that health information is understandable, because it supports the decision-making to take health-promoting measures, at least to assess the risks to oneself or others if one decides against them. The World Health Organization describe: „Intellectual disability means a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information…“ (WHO quote). The provision of adequate and understandable health information is crucial for this population group, which is particularly vulnerable to health problems.
Three researchers present their results and point out focal points in the dissemination of information, from an institution view, to communication with external health professionals (GPs) and to inform a whole population.

The presentations were recorded. These can be provided upon request. Please write an email to:

Introduction of the speakers in alphabetical order:

Dr. Helena Bergström is evaluating the Health Matters program, aiming at improving health literacy and empowerment among adults with intellectual disabilities. The program is developed in the US, and are now adapted to and tested in a Swedish context. One of her main interests is to promote health equity by targeting health among people with disabilities.

Dr. Deborah Chinn is a clinical psychologist who works with adults with intellectual disabilities, and a lecturer in the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care at King’s College London. The current focus of her research interests is health communication involving people with intellectual disabilities.

Molly Lynch is an experienced mixed-methods researcher and evaluator with content expertise in disaster preparedness (e.g., pandemic influenza, Ebola, Zika) and a communications researcher with expertise in media content analyses, formative research, campaign development and design thinking methodologies (e.g., journey mapping, co-creation, etc). Ms. Lynch works with a variety of non-profit and governmental clients—including the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), March of Dimes and the Arthritis Foundation—to conduct research and evaluation to inform program development.

Health promotion for people with Intellectual disabilities with a focus on physical activity.

On this site are some information. For more details and videos see LINK.

Brief desription

Today, low levels of physical activity are a great health problem for society as a whole. According to the World Health Organization physical inactivity is associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases and as an important risk factor for global mortality (6% of deaths globally). Compared to the general population chronic diseases occur more frequently and often earlier in lifetime in people with intellectual difficulties (PWID). For PWID there are many challenges in social activities and they have a different access to health-related resources than the general population. A positive effect of physical activity on prevention and health preservation has been proven. To our knowledge interventions to promote physical activity in everyday life for people with intellectual disabilities are rare.

In this context we would like to provide background information about physical activity, physical activity -related health competences, at interventions for people with intellectual disability and a closer look at a complex intervention for health promotion including physical activity and nutrition for people with intellectual disability. The aim is to show and discuss how health literacy and healthy behaviors can be improved by increasing knowledge, preferences, skills and self-efficacy.

Introduction of the speakers in alphabetical order:

Helena Bergström is a public health scientist within Region Stockholm in Sweden, working with health promotion targeting people with intellectual disabilities. She developed a health promotion intervention in community residences, focusing on diet and physical activity, and is now working on a Swedish adapation of the American intervention HealthMatters.

Dirk Bruland do research work at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences since 2018 with a focus on promoting physical acitivity and health literacy in people with intellectual disability. He is project leader of the research projects “Improvement of physical activity and related health literacy in people with intellectual disabilities” and “Geko-MmgB: Explanatory videos to promote health literacy for people with intellectual disabilities”.

Johannes Carl is with the Department of Sport Science and Sport at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. His research projects adopt a multidimensional perspective on healthy, physically active lifestyles by integrating cognitive, motivational, volitional, and physical requirements. Through the lens of physical activity-related health competence, he conducted several studies in different populations, including individuals with COPD, persons with multiple sclerosis, and apprentices in nursing care and car mechatronics. In 2018, he founded a network in German-speaking countries for the promotion of research in the area of physical activity-related health competence (Netzwerk Bewegungsbezogene Gesundheitskompetenz).”

Änne-Dörte Latteck is professor for nursing science at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences. She led several projects with different research approaches focusing on people with intellectual disabilities. These include prevention and health promotion, health literacy, polypharmacy and the promotion of physical activity.