DFI Update on Ukraine Response

April 14 2022

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The Disability Umbrella Organisations and HSE National Operations Disability Workstream Rapid Response Group met today to continue engagement concerning people with disabilities arriving to Ireland from Ukraine. Below are some key highlights of the meeting inlcuding some up to date statistics:

Statistics as of 12 April

  • Over 22,000 people have arrived in Ireland.
  • 14,000 in IPAS accommodation
  • Some decrease in numbers this week
  • 3734 medical cards issued
  • 197 plus IPAS facilities – 16 are temp emergency facilities (community centres etc)
  • Community Response Forum in each area have been established to coordinate local measures welcoming Ukrainians - click here for further details. 
  • All areas of service support needs are being actioned through different workstreams including community, health assessment, public health, mental health, enabling requirments, clinical, financial, disability, education, and data. Contact DFI for any specific queries you may have on these areas of support. 

Communications and Knowledge Transfer

DFI have been working with the HSE on the key area of good communication and knowledge transfer  of information of people with disabilites who may be currently in reception centres in Poland seeking entry to Ireland, and those who have arrived in Ireland.  The following updates were provided:

  • The HSE is working on continuing to improve the material available on their website for people.
  • DFI suggested, and this was agreed to by the HSE, that a full list of umbrella member organisations be added to the HSE website to ensure that people arriving have  an awareness of the profile of voluntary disability organisations who support delivery of services in Ireland. 

IPAS Process

DFI had previously raised concern on the lack of disability specific information available currently through the IPAS process. The HSE have recognised this concern. Based on international recommendations, the HSE have identified two questions for people to answer on arrival to clarify their experience of disability:

  1. Do you or a member of your family have a physical disability such as difficulty with vision or hearing, difficulty moving around, walking, dressing, washing or climbing a stairs unaided?
  2. Do you or a member of your family have a non-physical or other disability e.g. are they unable to speak, self-care, or understand questions or do they have difficulty  with remembering , concentrating or communicating in their own language?


DFI has called for clarification on recognition of the additional cost of support and services for people arriving from the Ukraine Crisis. The HSE advised that this has been activated to the Department of an Taoiseach.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of this group takes place on Friday 22 April.  We are there to represent our members work , knowledge and experience of any support needs you may be involved in. If your organisation is providing support to or receiving requests for support from people effected by the Ukraine crisis please get in touch directly to Cathy McGrath - cathymcgrath@disability-federation.ie / 086 3847440