We`d better remove barriers instead of helping people behind these barriers

We propose barrier-free solutions

We are an expert organization which promotes the principles of universal design, inclusion and respect for diversity. In order to achieve it we conduct researches, advocate for changes in legislation, arrange communication campaigns and search for new barrier-free solutions.

Since the first days of war, NGO “Barrier free” has been helping alone aged people, who decided to stay in Kyiv. Our organization also takes care of patients of one psychiatric hospital in Kyiv.
 
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For payments in Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH)
Name: NGO "BarrierFree"
Purpose: Non-refundable financial assistance
CODE: 43483077
Bank: JSC "FUIB", Kyiv
Account (IBAN): UA263348510000000026009110274

For payments in EUR or USD
Beneficiary bank: FIRST UKRAINIAN INTERNATIONAL BANK 4, Andriivska Str., Kyiv, 04070, Ukraine, SWIFT BIC: FUIBUA2X
Account (IBAN): UA263348510000000026009110274
Intermediary banks:
For payments in EUR: Commerzbank AG, Kaiserplatz, 60261, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, SWIFT BIC: COBADEFF
For payments in USD: JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., 270 Park Avenue, NY 10017, New York, SWIFT BIC: CHASUS33

Barrier-free philosophy should become a new social norm

Barrier-free philosophy means the ensuring of equal rights and opportunities for all, and in particular for those who experience the limitations/barriers in society.

We are focused on three main areas of accessibility:

Design
of opportunities
Social
engagement
Diversity
support

Barrier-free philosophy should become a new social norm

Barrier-free philosophy means the ensuring of equal rights and opportunities for all, and in particular for those who experience the limitations/barriers in society.

We are focused on three main areas of accessibility:

Design
of opportunities

Social
engagement

Diversity
support

Non-governmental organization “BARRIERFREE” is an expert association which promotes the practices of inclusion, non-discrimination, implementation of accessibility and universal design principles, respect for diversity and equality of opportunities in Ukrainian society.

NGO Barrierfree defends the future of Ukraine as a society where everyone has a sense of belonging, engagement, recognition and legitimacy.

NGO Barrierfree promotes values, attitudes and institutions which ensure all Ukrainian citizens fully as possible in social, economic and political life, based on their own dignity.

Barrier-free approach should become a new social norm in the sphere of public administration in order to ensure free access to education, employment, public services, leisure, communication, active participation in community life for vulnerable groups.

We endeavor

To facilitate the development of a systematic governmental policy on accessibility and support its implementation.

To include barrier-free norms to the agenda of Ukrainian society and to emphasize the demand for changes.

To offer effective solutions in cooperation with civil society, Government and local authorities, business.

To engage the national and international organizations in developing solutions to reduce inequality in Ukraine.

To make barriers surrounding Ukrainian people visible to the Government and local authorities.

To scale up successful barrier-free practices by building capacity of partnerships and supporting communities.

Our values

Sincerity and empathy

The barrier-free agenda coincides with our values and beliefs. We are ready to talk publicly about barriers, their negative impact on the well-being of our society, and how everyone can support each other.

Human dignity

The dignity belongs to all people from birth. All our actions are aimed at protecting the human right to be aware of one's social weight and value, regardless of any life circumstances.

Human rights

We believe that respect for human rights gives everyone a solid foundation to move forward. Human rights make us equally significant, including circumstances when we need extra support and care.

Transparency and accountability

We are keen on every citizen of Ukraine to join our initiative. That is why we will publicly talk report about all our actions, engage as many people as possible in overcoming barriers.

Respect for diversity

People have more opportunities in life, better education and jobs if their interests and initiatives are supported by the community. We will promote this value in Ukraine.

Partnership and friendship

In community every person possesses valuable knowledge, resources, significant achievements, his/her own vision. If we consolidate our potential, we will be able to achieve better results.

Our partners

Team

Oksana
Zbitnieva

Executive Officer

Expert in social transformations and strategic communications.

Higher education in philology, journalism, political science. Additional education in governmental and public administration and management.

Experience in communications and political consulting, creation and management of PR and GR departments, organization of media processes, reputation management campaigns.

Experience on senior positions in media, civil services, and non-governmental organizations. Worked as the PR Director at the Charitable foundation and as the Senior partner at the Strategic Communications Agency.

Veronika
Selega

Group leader of culture issues

Higher education
Master degree in TV Journalism at the
University of Theater, Film and Television named after Karpenko-Kary

Work experience in television journalism and public relations.

Aristotle School of Rhetoric was dedicated to communication, namely working with people on public speaking.

Three years of my life were devoted to the reformation process of public libraries in Kyiv in the framework of the project "Library of the Future".
1.5 years was the Head of the Humanitarian Policy Directorate as a civil servant.

Current cultural projects are the Khortytsia National Park and library for people with visual impairments.

Olga
Goltvenko

Communication project manager

Higher education - translation from two foreign languages.

Additional education in the field of marketing in Priazovskiy State Technical university and human resources in Interregional Academy of Management.
Experience in project management more than 5 years.
Coordination of the “Green Council” project on environmental issues.

Coordination of the project "Building Bridges", aimed at building dialogue and cooperation between local authorities, local businesses and the community of Mariupol.

Arrangement of trainings on energy efficiency for municipal structures of the city.

Participation in the development of the Mariupol City Development Strategy.

Coordination of the open platform of committees of the Mariupol Development Fund.

Alexey
Evseev

finance manager

Complete higher education

Additional education in finance at the Ernst & Young Academy of Business

More than 15 years of experience in the real sector of the economy.

Participant of working groups on development and implementation:

- strategy for the development of industrial enterprises (metallurgy and industrial services), aimed at increasing the total value of business

- management accounting and reporting

- capital investment programs of enterprises and related business processes

- some large NPV projects

Maria
Dobrovinska

Manager Assistant

Higher education

Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics. Master in Law. Specialization Commercial Law.

Experience in the real sector of inclusive education and culture for more than 3 years.

Last job: Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, position Secretary of the Supervisory Board - Leading specialist of administrative work and record keeping.

Participant of the working groups on development, improvement and implementation of: strategy development, improvement of legal documents and implementation of new improved processes for the state institution.

Nina
Matsiuk

External expert on accessibility

Experience in educational, cultural projects and creative industries, communications, management and event organization.

Founder of the All Inclusive Educational Project and co-founder of the “Open Your Heart” Inclusive Children's Project.

Performed inclusion in Kiev public libraries and in non-formal education.

Graduated from the School of Universal Design in the framework of the Joint Program "Promotion of Integration Policy and Services for People with Disabilities in Ukraine", implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Studied in the School of Project Management on the Ukrainian educational platform.

Graduated from the tutoring course of NGO "We are together" and Studio 3 \ 4.

Graduated from the program Active Citizens, the British Council program for young people in the field of intercultural dialogue and social development.

Training and experience in work with children with visual impairments and complex disabilities from Fundacja Ari Ari.

Irina
Evtushenko

External expert on business communities` operation

Specialist in the field of PR and communication.

Many years of experience in implementing media projects in the corporate and political sectors.

Experience in conducting PR campaigns and press events, organization and media support of projects, comprehensive communication support.

Valerii
Gauf

External expert on digital and economic accessibility

Higher education in the fields of economics and public administration.

More than 5 years of experience in optimizing business processes and building a culture of lean production.

Expert in the development of the National Barrier-free Strategy in the areas of economic and digital accessibility.

Projects

Great talk about barrier-free philosophy

Any barriers can be shifted or removed, but first they must be visible. These words were pronounced by the First Lady Olena Zelenska when she started the "Great talk about the barrier-free philosophy" in May 2020.

The key purpose of the dialogue is to understand what barriers Ukrainian people face mostly and to develop a roadmap to overcome these barriers in future. An online survey was launched and more than 37,000 people participated in it. The results of the "great talk" became the basis for the first steps towards building capacity of the barrier-free future of Ukraine. As a result, the First lady launched the Initiative called “Free of barriers” aimed at creating equal opportunities for all Ukrainians, including the elderly people, people with disabilities and families with little children.

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Thoughts, views and attitudes of Ukrainian people about barrier-free approaches and inclusiveness in society

Three-quarters of Ukrainians consider the development of a new social norm is a vital issue in Ukraine. 56% of Ukrainians consider the level of accessibility in the country as low or very low. These data are relevant to the end of 2020. They were obtained during a nationwide survey initiated by the First Lady Olena Zelenska.

The Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and the National Institute for Strategic Studies in the partnership with our NGO Barrierfree studied attitudes and views of Ukrainians about the barriers. The survey was conducted among 1,809 respondents from all over the country, except for the temporarily occupied territories, by face-to-face interviews. The obtained data became a starting point for future actions in the field of accessibility.

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Study of city spaces accessibility

It is the initial stage for the working-out of an Albom of universal design solutions which is developed in the frame of the First lady Olena Zelenska Initiative. It is composed from four sections. The study is composed of four sections: porches and residential yards, streets, public spaces and public buildings.

The purpose of its implementation is to identify key accessibility problems in cities and to provide regulations which manage the solution to deduct these problems. After all, from the practical point of view people who have an impact on the accessibility of urban spaces are not always absolutely aware of the depth of accessibility problems.
This study is useful for employees of municipalities, utilities, building and housing owners, architects, designers, builders, representatives of condominiums, etc.

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Album of barrier-free design solutions

It is a practical guide which provides practical recommendations and illustrates how to make the urban environment friendly to the variety of users, including parents with little children, elderly people and people with disabilities.

The Album of barrier-free design solutions is a guide for everybody who can influence the accessibility of public spaces - architects, designers, builders, customers, civil servants and active citizens who are engaged in accessibility issues and advocate for change. The first section of the Album about accessible porches and residential yards has just been presented and opened for discussion. The next sections are expected to be published within a year. The Album was developed in the frame of the First Lady Olena Zelenskaya Initiative called "Free of Barriers".

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Barrier-free solutions laboratory

Slavutych was the first Ukrainian city to support Olena Zelenska's "Free of Barriers" Initiative by signing a Memorandum with the Ministry of Community and Territorial Development about the development of architecture of public spaces according to principles of universal design.
Accordingly, a small town in the Kyiv region has become a laboratory for the development and implementation of barrier-free architectural solutions.

The most successful cases are supposed to be spread throughout Ukraine. Within a year since the signing of the Memorandum Slavutych has implemented a number of barrier-free solutions which can already be adopted and applied by other communities. In addition, the city was the first in Ukraine to introduce the position of ombudsman for accessibility. She is responsible for the issues of accessibility and inclusiveness.

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Stories which inspire

It is a video stories cycle about people breaking down barriers and bringing Ukraine closer to the future where no one will feel excluded from public life. The aim of the project is to show people and their initiatives which change Ukrainian cities and this country, to introduce those people who overcome barriers themselves and help others, and to give a voice to all those people who are eager to reduce barriers around us.

The video stories cycle was created in terms of the First Lady Olena Zelenskaya Initiative "Free of Barriers". Last year our NGO shot six inspiring video stories. New series about people whose example can inspire each of us to change our current life are expected very soon.

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Barrier-free handbook

It is a handbook of tolerant communication which fixes the norms of barrier-free language - without discrimination and stereotypical phrases about different people. The Barrier-Free handbook is an initiative and notable project of Olena Zelenska. It was created in cooperation with a range of public organizations, human rights activists, psychologists, parents raising children with disabilities, Ukrainian and international experts.

Analytical and technical support for the project was provided by NGO Barrierfree. The compiler of the guide is Tatiana Kasyan, the illustrator is Olga Degtyareva. The project partners are DTEK, Danone, Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, Inka, 1 + 1 media, Dostupno.UA, NGO Happy Today. The printed version of the guide will be complemented by Braille elements of the text and is expected to be published this spring.

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“Barrier-free literacy” educational series

What are barrier-free norms and whom it may concern? The answers are given by the educational series "Barrier-free literacy". It has eight series lasting 6-10 minutes and is available for free on the site "Diia. Digital Education". "Barrier-free literacy" is a story about the basic principles of barrier-free behavior depicting examples of everyday life.

The series was created by the Initiative of Olena Zelenska in partnership with the Adviser-representative of the President of Ukraine on the barrier-free society issues, our NGO, civil society representatives and experts in the support of the UNDP Human Rights for Ukraine project funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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National strategy for the development of barrier-free area in Ukraine for the period up to 2030

The barrier-free philosophy became an integral part of the governmental policy as the Government had approved the National Strategy for the development of barrier-free space in Ukraine in April 2021. The document includes initiatives to remove barriers in all spheres of life, to ensure opportunities and equal rights for all Ukrainians.

The national strategy was developed in terms of the initiative of Olena Zelenska and in order to perform the decree of the President of Ukraine. It is the result of meaningful contribution of government officials, civil society and experts. The National Barrier-Free Strategy is a governmental regulation on how to act, a benchmark to rely on. Thus, it is a guide to make it easier to implement community-based solutions and to remove barriers.

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Action plan for the implementation of the National Barrier-Free Strategy for 2021-2022

The Action plan is a "road map" for each ministry involved in the implementation of the National Barrier-Free Strategy in Ukraine. It includes more than 250 initiatives which the Government must implement by the end of 2022. Seven key projects which should become for demonstrative for all public authorities within the implementation of the National Strategy have been identified. The changes proposed by the Action Plan are grouped into six areas of accessibility: physical, informative, digital, civil, economic and educational.

The Cabinet of Ministers approved the Action Plan last July. As a matter of fact the National Barrier-Free Strategy, the Action plan was developed with engagement of a wide range of community activists. The Ministry of Community and Territorial Development coordinated the process at all stages.

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Communication strategy to the Action Plan for the implementation of the National Barrier-Free Strategy

In order to make the State's tone of voice about barrier-free strategy taking into account strategic accents and correct arguments common, the Communication Strategy to the Action Plan for 2021-2022 on the implementation of the National Barrier-Free Strategy in Ukraine was adopted. The ground for its development was the media content analysis regarding the topic of accessibility in January-June 2021.

This quantitative study consisted of the following: awareness and understanding of the term "barrier-free", expert interviews with stakeholders and communication teams of the ministries. This document defines the strategic goals and indicators of their achievement, narrative, key messages, as well as coordinates the communication process of all authorities in this field.

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Community “Free of Barriers”

The Initiative of the First Lady Olena Zelenska has inspired big Ukrainian and international companies to consolidate the efforts on accessibility issues. As a consequence, the business community called “Free of Barriers” appeared.

Currently it counts more than two dozen members including Ukrposhta, Oschadbank, Ukrzaliznytsia, Auchan Ukraine, 1 + 1 Media, DTEK, SOCAR Energy Ukraine, work.ua, ATB Corporation, Danone Ukraine, Visa, First Ukrainian International Bank (FUIB), Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv and Riviera House, PrivatBank, McDonald's in Ukraine, Coca-Cola Ukraine, Foxtrot retail chain, EPAM Ukraine IT company, ‘’Yakaboo” book platform, “Silpo” supermarket chain, “Asters” law firm.

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Interesting cases of "Free of Barriers" community members

Almost every company in this community has its own experience in implementing barrier-free practices. For example, there are cases of employment without discrimination to age, disability, gender, the introduction of a dual form of education, the existence of jobs for people who cannot work full time for various reasons and so on.

The companies also creating and developing common projects including, in particular, a training program on correct interaction with people with disabilities, an electronic version of the "Barrier-free communication guide" and a training module to teach staff the ethics of barrier-free communication. It is going be an open-source product which every company will be able to adapt to their business needs.

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A book about diversity and equality "World without barriers"

"World Without barriers " tells us about diversity and equality, tolerant communication using words which show respect, and everyone is accepted as she/he is. The book is focused on teaching young children accompanied by a tutor. More than 20 thousand copies were disseminated to Ukrainian schools. The author of the publication is Anastasia Stepula, an expert on communication with people with neurodiversity.

Kateryna Pokladova illustrated the book. The project was implemented with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Book Institute and the Initiative of the First Lady Olena Zelenskaya "Free of barriers". The book was published by “Osnovy” Publishing House. Expert and analytical support was provided by our NGO Barrierfree.

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