When sounds of war can’t be heard: How one group is helping deaf Ukrainians survive

Ukraine’s deaf community aided by US nonprofit amid Russia conflict

  • Most disaster relief efforts are initially provided via word-of-mouth, which largely forsakes people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • There’s as growing push by disaster responders to ensure the needs of people with disabilities are considered from the start.
  • In Ukraine, one nonprofit is finding ways to help, like providing solar-powered lights or deploying people who are deaf to help evacuate others.

From the thunder of artillery to the roar of fighter jets and air-raid sirens warning of incoming Russian attacks, the sounds of war are almost inescapable in Ukraine.

But for thousands of Ukrainians who are deaf or hard of hearing, those danger signals just don’t exist.

That’s why a U.S-based nonprofit called Off-The-Grid Missions is now providing that community with tools to stay safe and alert, such as solar-powered lights, cell phone chargers and drinking-water filters. The group also provides evacuations run exclusively by people who are deaf or hard of hearing.