NGO «IUS» has been working in the field of inclusion for many years, promoting and “popularizing” it.
In 2019, we had a desire to find out what inclusion is for Lviv residents and how they understand it. That is why we decided to conduct research with the main goal – to determine the inclusiveness of the social environment of Lviv and identify opportunities for the development of the social environment of the city from the perspective of inclusion of people with disabilities.
In the course of the research, we interviewed employees of institutions working in the field of inclusion of people with disabilities, and representatives of public organizations working on this topic. Their activities include working with people with different types of nosology’s, creating an accessible environment, informing the public, conducting educational, entertainment or other activities for people with disabilities.
So, after processing the results, we found out that:
- The public sector plays a special role in defending the inclusion of the city, as very often activists are people who are directly involved in this topic (they or their relatives have a disability), which gives them practical expertise in this matter;
- Insufficient level of communication between all stakeholders, which causes misunderstandings, and possible examples when different people worked on solving one problem separately, when they could join forces;
- Lviv has good examples of sustainability in the field of inclusion. These include the inclusion of public sector representatives in joint institutions with local self-government, successful long-term funding of individual organizations from various sources, and practice of successfully using the public budget for various inclusive initiatives. That being said, there are notable examples of sustainable success that should be both borrowed and multiplied;
- Despite the cautious perception of the generalized “power” as a cumbersome and problematic partner, one can notice a positive image of the city’s self-government, which is not only open to cooperation with the public sector, but also has its own initiatives in the field of inclusion;
- The andttitude of Lviv residents themselves to people with disabilities is positive, but with some elements of pity;
- There are still obstacles to establishing an inclusive education process. But the main one is the perception and social “admission” of people with disabilities. Perhaps the most vulnerable are children who have mental and/or intellectual disabilities;
- Inclusion in formal and non-formal education can be a decisive and driving force for everyday interaction between people with disabilities and those without disabilities.
There is a lot of talk about inclusion in Ukraine, but very little research on the actual state of this phenomenon. We hope that our case will become a catalyst point for other cities and towns and Ukraine in general.
Lukasevych Anna, Executive Director of IUS,
Serdiuchenko Anton, Vice President for International Affairs,
Amzayev Akhtem, IUS volunteer.