We are concerned about the plight of blind people in Ukraine – how they are coping, accessing the supports they need and staying safe. Also, we know that people will likely lose their vision during the conflict. It is well known that, during times of conflict, those with disabilities are often left behind. We have established a Ukrainian Unity Fund to support blind people in Ukraine now and to help them rebuild following the conflict. Donate to the World Blind Union Ukrainian Unity Fund now.
Like nearly all governments, organizations, and concerned individuals around the world, the WBU condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This pointless war will cause tremendous suffering for people all over the world, particularly for those in Ukraine, and especially for Ukrainians who are blind or partially sighted.
War and disability are tragically linked together. This war will inevitably result in people acquiring impairments that lead to disability. How many people with disabilities will this war create? How many lives will be forever transformed due to the suffering of needless injuries?
How the war is impacting blind and partially sighted Ukrainians
Not only does war cause disability, but people with disabilities always suffer more during times of emergency and conflict. Today in Ukraine and surrounding countries, those who are blind or partially sighted are experiencing unimaginable challenges, challenges that are intensified by barriers to transportation, communication, and access to information.
The WBU calls on all governments and aid organizations involved in relief efforts to develop a disability inclusive strategy to ensure Ukrainians who are blind or partially sighted are not forgotten. We are working with our partners in the region to support all those involved in the relief efforts.
Since the start of the invasion, the WBU has been in touch with blindness organizations and blind individuals and has been exploring options to provide support to people who are blind or partially sighted in Ukraine and surrounding countries.
How you can help: Donate to the World Blind Union Ukrainian Unity Fund
In the short term, the WBU has established the Ukrainian Unity Fund. Through this fund, the WBU will collect donations and work with partners such as the European Blind Union to direct resources where they are most needed. For any individual or organization wishing to provide financial support, please donate to the World Blind Union Ukrainian Unity Fund now. Donations to the Ukrainian Unity Fund can be made via credit card, wire transfer, or PayPal.
In the medium and longer term, the WBU will work with partners to identify needs and provide appropriate supports. This conflict will no doubt have a negative impact on Ukrainians who are blind or partially sighted for years to come. We can expect significant needs in areas like access to assistive technology, blindness skills training, and of course mental health supports. In the coming months, the WBU will be forming partnerships to address these and other needs that will arise.
Please consider donating to the Ukrainian Unity Fund. Every dollar raised will go directly to supporting relief efforts and helping blind and partially sighted Ukrainians get back on their feet after the crisis is over.
How the funds will help blind and partially sighted Ukrainians
Your donations will directly assist blind and partially sighted Ukrainians in the following ways:
- WBU will form partnerships with organizations in and around Ukraine to assist with immediate needs like evacuation.
- WBU will work with members in the region to support refugees who may require assistive technology, skills training, and other supports.
- WBU will provide assistance with the eventual rebuild, such as helping schools for the blind obtain necessary equipment.
- Please do not hesitate to contact us with suggestions or questions.
Join us at the Blind performing artists Virtual Benefit Concert for blind Ukrainians April 16
On Saturday 16 April at 2 PM Eastern time in North America, 7 PM in the UK, that’s Sunday morning at 4 AM in Eastern Australia, 6 AM in New Zealand, the global online blind community is joining together for We’re With U, a benefit concert to help blind people who have been affected by the atrocities in Ukraine.
All funds raised at this event will reach organizations assisting blind Ukrainians, as part of World Blind Union’s Ukrainian Unity Fund. Our thanks to Mushroom FM.