The board of the European Association of Cochlear Implant Users, EURO-CIU, is deeply concerned by the escalation of fighting taking place in Ukraine. We abhor violence and war. Governments must pursue diplomatic avenues, not take incomprehensible actions with devastating consequences to the civil population.
We ask for an immediate ceasefire, and for all parties to follow International Humanitarian Rights, and the United Nations Convention Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Minors, vulnerable and disabled persons must not end up paying the highest price.
The use of weapons will cause many more people to suffer the burden of hearing loss. We support and celebrate those who work to reduce the global burden of hearing loss, not those who add to it.
Cochlear implant users require accessible communication. Messages to the population must be available in writing or be captioned so that, for their own safety, persons with hearing loss can follow the instructions in these times of need.
Cochlear implant users also require a continuous supply of batteries and other consumables for their processors, so that they are not plunged into silence.
We petition to facilitate access to international agencies and humanitarian organisations in Ukraine and its neighbours. We ask EU politicians and citizens to take measures to properly attend to refugees and to take into account their disabilities.
We are proud to say that several of our members have already offered help to refugees fleeing Ukraine to other countries, as well as organizing and providing materials to reach the borders and go directly to people who are suffering. Dear friends, cochlear implant users and families in Ukraine, EURO-CIU, with our 33 members from 23 countries, will do our utmost to support you in any way we can!
From the board of EURO-CIU.