The Stream

War in Ukraine: What support do people with disabilities need?

On Monday, April 11 at 19:30GMT:
The situation is dire for people living through the war in Ukraine, from the lack of food and medicine to the constant bombardment by Russian forces. But while some of the non-disabled have been able to flee cities that are under attack or claim refuge in surrounding countries, not everyone is able to consider such a journey.

Escaping the war is almost unimaginable for the estimated 2.7 million people in the country who are living with a disability. Shelters and evacuation routes are largely inaccessible for those with physical constraints and for the deaf and blind, access to information can be difficult.

Those with cognitive disabilities face similar challenges. Fleeing often means long and treacherous travel, something inconceivable for those with autism or intellectual disabilities. And even if they manage to escape, many find unfamiliar environments, like refugee camps, hard to cope with.

Many disability-rights advocates feel the Ukrainian government and humanitarian groups have done little to help. They say the dearth of support is a combination of lack of awareness and poor infrastructure. Instead, they’ve turned to each other for help, with activists from around the globe quickly mobilising to offer relief.

On this episode of The Stream, we discuss the issues facing Ukrainians with disabilities and ask what help is needed.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Yuliia Sachuk, @SachukYuliia
Head, Fight for Right Ukraine

Milan Šveřepa, @misver
Director, Inclusion Europe

Anna Landre, @annalandre
Organizer, Partnership for Disaster Inclusive Strategies