Given the state of the world, I’m probably not alone in worrying, on occasion, about keeping loved ones safe should a disaster hit. And most of all, I worry about the safety of my loved one with developmental disabilities, especially as she doesn’t live at home.

Now, a (very) small study out of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, published in Disability & Society, suggests there’s reason for concern. It posits that people with intellectual disabilities living in Ukraine during the first three months of the Russian military invasion suffered even more than other residents.

It showed, for instance, a greater lack of access to basic needs such as food, water and medicine. Also, participants indicated that one of the most important conditions for fleeing abroad for people with intellectual disabilities is that family members flee with them and provide support for them, both during the journey and once they’re abroad. Thus, generally speaking, people with intellectual disabilities are unable to flee without their families.

In 2021, it was estimated that out of the total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, 13% of them had a disability, Both refugee organizations and other interest groups have expressed fear over their well-being, on the grounds that there is a profound risk that they will not receive the support they desperately need, which, in turn, leaves them and their pre-existing support systems to simply fend for themselves.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!