Comprehensive rehabilitation services to benefit thousands of Ukrainians

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (October 21, 2015) - - JSI Research and Training Institute awarded UCP Wheels for Humanity a two-year, up to $ 2 million grant from USAID’s Leahy War Victims Fund to improve rehabilitation support services in Ukraine. Through the Training, Economic Empowerment, Assistive Technology and Medical/Physical Rehabilitation (TEAM) project, UCP Wheels for Humanity will partner with the Ukrainian Association of Physical Therapists and the National Assembly of People with Disabilities of Ukraine to deliver these services beginning October 2015.

There are an estimated 2.64 million people with disabilities in Ukraine with 14,000 recently added due to the on-going conflict. More than 53,786 registered Internally Displaced People (IDPs) with disabilities in the country need mid-to-long term medical and economic support because of the conflict. Adding to this dire situation is the lack of highly trained rehabilitation professionals in the country and the utilization of ineffective and outdated treatments. People with disabilities face limited options to improve their health and quality of life.

“Peoples’ lives are forever changed by this on-going conflict,” says Michael Allen, UCP Wheels Executive Director. “For nearly 20 years we’ve provided wheelchairs and rehabilitation trainings. Thanks to this grant will be able to connect Ukrainians to even more vital rehabilitation support and professionals in collaboration with our remarkable partners.”

The TEAM project will focus on improving the rehabilitation support services in the country with specialized training for rehabilitation personnel, vocational and business training for IDPs and their families and increased access to the provision of assistive devices. These efforts will enable people with disabilities to live more independent and economically self-sufficient lives.

Rehabilitation professionals including neurologists, urologists, psychologists, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, nurses and social workers will receive specialized trainings with the goal of strengthening or establishing rehabilitation units in hospitals within the country. In addition to increased access to assistive devices such as wheelchairs and other mobility aids, IDPs and their families will receive job skills and business development training so they can attain employment or possess the ability to start a business.

About UCP Wheels for Humanity

A subsidiary of United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties, UCP Wheels for Humanity was founded in 1996 to increase access to mobility for children and adults with physical disabilities who live in developing countries. UCP Wheels provides mobility, therapy and empowerment programs to more than 6,000 adults and children each year and acts as an advocate and capacity-building partner to local organizations, creating sustainable, community-based systems that support long-term change. For more information, visit

This publication was produced by UCP Wheels for Humanity, agreement number 0075, through Advancing Partners & Communities (APC), a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-12-00047, beginning October 1, 2012.