“In our society there are very stable stereotypes that children with disabilities should stay away from the “healthy” ones. Overcoming this stereotype is the biggest issue... Such children are despised and avoided; people are afraid of them and seek to isolate them”.
Mother of a child with autism
In 2016, there were 2,614,061 people with disabilities officially registered in Ukraine. 153,574 of them are children.
Because of the long-lasting war in the East of Ukraine, the number of people with disabilities is increasing. Those affected are civilians and the military.
In May 2017 there were 1,528,565 internally displaced people registered in Ukraine. 57,774 of them are people with disabilities.
There are some stereotypes about people with disabilities in the Ukrainian society. This influences the formation of the notion of disability in the minds of the young generation of the Ukrainian citizens. It is very important to tell them about dignity and values inherent in every person as early as in their childhood when personality, mentality and attitude to the surrounding world are still being shaped.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted in 2006 by the Resolution # 61/106 of the United Nations General Assembly.
Ukraine acceded to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008.
The Convention was ratified in 2009 and it came into force in 2010.
The UN Refugee Agency created this book together with the National Assembly of People with Disabilities in Ukraine.. Owing to the Assembly’s vast experience in educational and outreach work, we managed to make the book as comprehensible as possible for children.
As a basis, we used the children’s version of the Convention published in the USA. It was developed with the help of the children themselves. The manual was translated into Ukrainian, tested with 79 children aged 5 to 11 and adapted to Ukrainian context.
We hope this book will be useful for teachers, parents and of course children.