Inclusion Europe’s director Milan Šveřepa was interviewed on the 11th of April by Al Jazeera English, alongside Yullia Sachuk and Anna Landre. They talked about the living conditions of people with disabilities during the war in Ukraine, from the lack of food and medicine to the bombardment by Russian forces. The interview was also focused on the kind of support needed right now for people with disabilities. AJ English writes:
- Although many non-disabled people have been able to flee cities that are under attack or claim refuge in bordering countries, not everyone can consider such a journey. Escaping the war is almost unthinkable for most of the estimated 2.7 million people with disabilities who live in the country. Shelters and evacuation routes are widely inaccessible for those with physical constraints, as well as for the deaf and the blind, for who access to information can be difficult.
- Many disability-rights advocates feel that humanitarian agencies and organisations have not offered enough help. They say the lack of support is a combination of lack of awareness and poor infrastructure. Instead, they have turned to each other for help, with activists from around the globe quickly mobilising to offer relief.
People with disabilities are 15% of the global population; their needs are not accommodated or treated as normal part of the human condition, Anna Landre said.
The estimated number of people with intellectual disabilities in Ukraine is 260,000. There are at least 30,000 people with disabilities in “residential care institutions”. Some of these institutions were evacuated and others were attacked by Russian forces.
In addition, the way supplies, such as medicines, are being transported to Ukraine and distributed to local disability organisations and families was another aspect mentioned in the interview.
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