How you can help people with disabilities in Ukraine

ABOVE: A team from Poland helps evacuate disabled Ukrainian children. (IMAGE: Bloombergh Quicktake)

Last week, I briefly discussed what’s going on in Ukraine, particularly how it affects PWD and the lack of information about them.

Shortly after my article came out, a number of you reached out to me with articles, links, etc.

Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

One of the links that really stood out to me was Inclusion Europe.

Inclusion Europe is an advocacy group for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Their various campaigns include:

  • Accessibility
  • Voting rights
  • End segregation
  • Violence against women

In addition, Inclusion Europe has also been providing updates about how people with disabilities have been and are currently impacted by the attacks in Ukraine.

There’s a link to donate to the VGO Coalition, which is the All-Ukrainian NGO Coalition for Persons With Intellectual Disabilities on Inclusion Europe's website.

Below is a statement from VGO Coalition appealing for help and what they need assistance with:

The Coalition shared an appeal from their members across Ukraine:

We are a network of 118 local Ukrainian non-governmental organizations for persons with intellectual disabilities representing about 14 thousand families from all the regions of Ukraine. We appreciate highly numerous letters of support and requests about our situation from our international friends. The war came to every Ukrainian home. The duties of providing for a family member with intellectual and behaviour disabilities became much harder now; all our time is dedicated to our beloved ones who survive the special storm of turmoil, not being able to comprehend the surrounding mess.*

The families of Ukrainians with intellectual disabilities survive very difficult times.

Over 261 thousand Ukrainians are awarded official disability status due to a psychiatric diagnosis.

All day centres are closed, all community-based services stopped, some cope with this challenging behaviour, the mothers are exhausted, they often have attacks of their own (the mothers’) illness.

All in addition to bombing, Russian saboteurs’ groups, shortage of foodstuff, queues to the cash machines, pharmacies, lack of access to medical services, etc.

We badly need your help.

So, we ask you for the following help:

1. Drugs for epilepsy and some psychiatric diseases sold only according to prescription

2. Sanitary and hygienic products (including for adults)

3. Foodstuff of the long-term use: canned food, cereals, canned oil, biscuits, tea, coffee, condensed milk, chocolate, etc

4. For evacuation from assaults into the basements: sleeping bags, mattresses, first aid kits, power banks, etc.

5. Donations to grass-root DPOs’ to purchase these products themselves or to contract personal assistants for persons with intellectual disabilities

6. Support to those leaving for a safer place: Help with transportation accessibility equipment at border checkpoints (wheelchairs, portable chairs)

This war is not against Ukraine solely; it is war against our civilization! We would appreciate highly your efforts to call your countries to close our air to stop Russian missiles and bombers!

If you can, I urge you all to donate. All donations will go to much-needed help for people with intellectual disabilities in Ukraine.

If you’re unable to donate, please share the link on social media. Everyone can and should get the word out.

To make a donation, PLEASE go to:

For more information about Inclusion Europe and to stay informed on news regarding people with intellectual disabilities in Ukraine, PLEASE go to:

Globally, people with disabilities continue to be ignored, which simply isn’t right. We all need to do our part to ensure that our voices be heard and that our needs and concerns be addressed in a respectful manner.

*Credit: Inclusion Europe