Persons with disabilities constitute one of the largest vulnerable groups in Ukraine, and according to recent estimates, may represent as high as 15% of the total population. Ukraine is part to the UN CRPD and adopted important legislation protecting the rights of disabled persons. However, the implementation of such laws remains poor and the persons with disabilities still face inaccessible environments and continue to be excluded from various spheres of life.
The UN System in Ukraine has extensive experience in working on disability issues, which is among priority areas of the UN-the Government of Ukraine Partnership Framework for 2012-2016. The UNPRPD project is focused on promoting accessibility and universal design as enablers of participation and includes a mix of national and sub-national interventions to raise awareness, strengthen the capacity of multiple stakeholders and demonstrate the practical and financial viability of inclusive service delivery models.
The proposed joint programme, developed by UNDP, UNICEF, ILO and WHO in cooperation with the Government and Civil Society organizations in Ukraine, promoted the application of accessibility and universal design standards as enablers of inclusion and participation of the persons with disabilities.
The programme focused on existing barriers that prevent or limit equal access to services and facilities intended for the general public.
The programme worked at sub-national (Kharkiv Oblast) and national levels and supported comprehensive capacity development and awareness raising efforts.
It used a mix of mainstream and targeted approaches to directly benefit persons with disabilities through improved services and indirectly, by making the surrounding environment more accessible and disability-friendly.