Conflict in Ukraine and the Impact on our Global Disability Community

A statement from MIUSA CEO Susan Sygall:

I often speak of our alumni and other people with disabilities as part of a global family, linked by common threads of history, experience, passion and pride. 
 
My heart goes out to those experiencing the horrific violence and war in Ukraine. I am especially concerned for people with disabilities, particularly women, and their families. As in every conflict situation, we know that disabled people in Ukraine are facing extreme difficulties, unable to evacuate due to inaccessible routes, transport, shelters, and information, abandoned in institutions, and experiencing a myriad of other terrible violations of human rights. 
 
We are thinking of our MIUSA alumni in Ukraine and many other countries, including Armenia, Cameroon, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Syria and South Sudan, who have experienced situations of conflict, violence and war. We are doing our part to ensure that relief and humanitarian efforts are including people with disabilities and are reaching out to other disabled people‘s organizations.  
 
If you would like to support efforts to ensure the safe evacuation of people with disabilities in Ukraine, we encourage you to look at the CNN Impact, which lists organizations that have been vetted. We especially want to point out the World Institute on Disability, a disability-led organization in the U.S. working directly with a disability-led organization in Ukraine. 
 
In the next two months, we at MIUSA hope to host disabled women leaders from 35 countries, who will come to Oregon to work on ensuring full inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly women, in emergency response, humanitarian and international development efforts. 
 
I can’t help but imagine the world if it were led by disabled women leaders who have a sense of compassion and solidarity, and a commitment to avoid conflict through dialogue. You can support our Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) here.
 
With actions, thoughts and prayers going to all in those living in conflicts throughout the world,

Susan Sygall

Mobility International USA