Emergency Support for Ukraine

Organizations and other efforts you can support to help persons with disabilities in Ukraine.

The recent invasion of Ukraine has created a lot of immediate need, and a diversity of donors are rallying in support. However, as it happens in most emergent crises, persons with disabilities are left behind in humanitarian aid conversations and action. This page spotlights organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) and others working on the ground that are accepting support and are focused on the disability community. We have kept information top level for safety purposes, but please email info@disabilityrightsfund.org if you have specific questions. 

Unique needs in the disability community, include medicines, accessible transportation, accessibility devices and other accommodations, diapers, food, communication support, and legal support. Activists needs funds to secure these items.

We also want to express our deep gratitude to the activists and movement partners that have stepped up during this time. Your efforts are noticed and appreciated in big ways. Thank you for all that you are doing. 

Efforts to Support

All Ukrainian NGO Coalition for People with Intellectual Disabilities (aka CPID, VGO Coalition) – Read this post about this OPD’s needs and active work and visit their website to learn more.

Sokal District Association of Disabled  (aka SDAD) – This OPD is providing items needed for use in bomb shelters, medicine, and food. Read their long history of service on their website and their Facebook page.

All-Ukrainian Organization of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry – National Branch (aka User, Uzer) – This post from 2019 shows a strong track record of fighting human rights violations; this OPD is actively working to get medicine and other necessities to persons with disabilities. We can provide contact information as there is no active website.

Cherkassy Youth (aka CYO, Molcher, Moloda) – This OPD is taking care of critical needs and transportation. We can provide contact information as there is no active website.

Fight for Right – This OPD has been actively coordinating direct support to persons with disabilities and informing global humanitarian aid efforts. Read more on their website and support through GoFundMe.

NGO Generation of Successful Action – This is an OPD of persons with visual disabilities is actively working to ensure needs are met. Read more in this press release, on their Facebook page, and through their website.

National Assembly of People with Disabilities – This national OPD has a clear strategic plan and annual procurement plans, and you can find a lot of information about their work and what’s happening on the ground now through their website and Facebook page.

Disability Rights International (DRI) – This international human rights group has a strong track record of advocating for the protection and full participation of children and adults with disabilities, with a particular focus on those in group homes, orphanages, and institutions. Their report No Way Home offers essential reading for understanding the situation of persons with disabilities in institutions in Ukraine, and you can read more on their website.

NGO “Luhansk Regional Organization” Association of Women, Youth, Families with Disabilities of Eastern Donbass-East – They’re uploading daily videos with key information for persons with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities to their website.

Active Rehabilitation Group – This NGO focusing on persons with spinal cord injuries is sharing important needs and stories on their Facebook page, and you can read more about their work on their website.

Everybody Can International Charitable Foundation – This NGO is providing direct medical and social support to elderly persons and children with disabilities. Read more on their website and Facebook page.

Relevant Articles

Russia shells a Kharkiv care home for 330 adults and children with disabilities (Business Insider)

Disability Debrief: on the war in Ukraine (Disability Debrief)

Millions with disabilities ‘abandoned’ in Ukraine, charities fear (Independent)

Ukrainians With Disabilities At Breaking Point As Russian Onslaught Bears Down (Forbes)

Fate of Ukrainians with disabilities a ‘crisis within a crisis’ (Reuters)

From Ukrainians with disabilities comes a desperate plea: ‘We have no chance without help’ (Washington Post)

Parallel Ascent: Escaping Ukraine and Connecting Through Disability (Women’s eNews)

Our Response

In the past, we funded organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) in Ukraine, although we have not for many years. We reached out to past grantees to see what was needed, and engaged in several internal conversations to arrive at a responsive strategy.  

We do not typically provide emergency relief grants, though we do have a consistent track record of being flexible on open grants in crisis contexts. For example, when COVID-19 initially hit, we quickly pivoted over 80% of open grants to allow organizations to use funds as they needed to sustain themselves and advocate for inclusion in health communications and protocol. 

With this emergency, we are experimenting with a small amount of emergency support. We are now in the process of distributing emergency relief grants to OPDs and other groups working directly with the disability community at this time. We are partnering with Purposeful, a feminist movement partner, to distribute these grants.

Most importantly, we want to encourage you to move money and attention to the groups and efforts mentioned above. We could not support all of them and our support is not at a high level, but we know our collective giving power could make a big difference.