The NTG has been in contact with the EASPD, the main European organization for people with disabilities and the organizations that aid them, which is coordinating the refugee placements for people with disabilities in Europe. EASPD notes that Ukraine still has large institutions of 500 - 700 people living together. EASPD's main challenge is coordinating efforts as while they have some 2,500 organizations in their network and their office has only 25 staff. They have informed us that their greatest need right now is for funding support for coordination of these efforts and eventually coordination with organizations within the US and Canada. Based on conversations we have had, they tell us that they would find beneficial a webinar for US/Canadian audience to present what colleagues in Ukraine are facing and what European agencies are doing. The NTG will be assisting with the webinar and the US dissemination of the announcement for the webinar.
EASPD is also seeking a central organization within Europe that can assemble a list of organizations that have room for housing people with disabilities coming from their Institutions, who have already been evacuated but have no place to go. Also, they are connecting with national organizations which can provide supports to Ukranian immigrants with a family member with a disability.
FMI - contact Dr. Kathleen Bishop who is coordinating the NTG's efforts.
NTG Statement on Ukraine
Click here for PDF statement
Stories in the news
The Informal International Network Getting Disabled Ukrainians Out of the War Zone
Eloise Barry, Time, March 31, 2022
Correspondence from Ukraine
This email was received from Larysa Bayda who is with the National Assembly of People with Disabilities in the Ukraine: https://naiu.org.ua/ Dear Kathleen, Thank you for your e-mail, sympathy, and readiness to help. Honestly, I do not have an answer to your question, because in this war all the principles of human rights, humanity and morality have been violated. A lot of the elderly aged 80+ have stayed in their homes and are cared for by their relatives. I am facing the same situation. My mother is 88 and my three family members are 85+. They need continual help, so we have to be with them these days. Yesterday I received a phone call from the head of an enterprise (in Kharkiv city) where people with disabilities worked. He helped a lot of them to be evacuated, but he stayed in Kharkiv as his mother is 94. There are still two similar families in his big house. Some elderly people have lost their relatives. They have been placed in temporary institutions, but now no one knows what will happen to them. I think they will continue to stay in those institutions. Our evacuation organizations reported that some people had been taken abroad, some persons are hospitalized. Lonely people, some with psychosocial disorders, are found in state nursing homes. When it was possible, they were transported to safe areas of Ukraine. Nursing homes designed for 50 people now are hosting 200 people. Staff, food, hygiene items are extremely needed there. Perhaps, you know that many have been shot down with tanks or guns. Some buildings were bombed. People were killed. Before the war, there were state and private nursing homes in Ukraine, but they differ significantly from your facilities in terms of the care quality. In Ukraine, they were worse. In future, I think, new and not big nursing homes have to be built. You will be able to construct one or two such homes and show what they should be. I want you to be aware that 80-90% of our infrastructure – hospitals, schools, nursing homes, etc. - have been destroyed. In some cities, it is nothing left, just ruins. To sum up, I cannot say for sure what exactly this category of Ukrainians needs. But definitely, everyone needs PEACE, truth, help, support. With respect, Larysa Bayda