On March 31st, we were approached by Igor Kushni, a Ukrainian BlindSquare user, seeking help on behalf of persons who are blind and partially sighted in Ukraine. We immediately put a plan into action to support them. Below is Igor’s plea for help for Ukrainian refugees.
“We are in tough and unprecedented conditions, and our cities are under severe attacks. Many people are forced to flee their homes. …the situation is very difficult for blind refugees as they flee to other countries, to cities they are not familiar with, and it is very difficult to navigate there, to find places with essential goods such as shops, pharmacies, ATM’s and so on. Therefore, I have decided to write to you and ask for help for blind refugees from Ukraine.” – Igor Kushni, UTOS Training and Information Computer Center, Kyiv, Ukraine
On April 1st, in an effort to support blind Ukrainian refugees, we released free access to BlindSquare Event to a 1,000km region including all of Ukraine, as well as 21 other surrounding countries. People of Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Northern Albania, North Macedonia, Turkey, Thessaloniki, Slovenia, Eastern Austria, Czechia, Poland and Eastern Germany can download our full-featured version of BlindSquare throughout the duration of the war, plus 90 days, supporting those on journeys to and from Ukraine. If these BlindSquare users acquire this app within one of these regions, they will have global access should they travel outside of the regions mentioned above.
Our mission is to partner with fellow peers to collaborate on different supportive initiatives and continue spreading the word. Martine Abel-Williamson, President of the World Blind Union, shares her perspective on the emergency plan of action below.
“With millions of people displaced, we know there are tens of thousands of blind and partially sighted Ukrainians who are now living in unfamiliar settings. Apps like BlindSquare give helpful information to people about their surroundings. For many of us, this information makes it easier to get around and helps us navigate with confidence. For Ukrainians displaced by the war, this information could be the difference between getting to an evacuation point on time or not, getting to a shelter before the bombing starts or not, or getting to a grocery store before it closes or not. The service BlindSquare offers is a helpful convenience for most of us, but it can be an essential safety tool as well. I applaud the BlindSquare team for recognizing the value of their product during times of emergency and for taking the necessary steps to get it in the hands of as many people as possible.” – Martine Abel-Williamson, President, World Blind Union
BlindSquare Event downloads are already spiking within these impacted regions, and we ask that you continue spreading the word to any friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances should this free support be valuable to them during these difficult times.
Download the BlindSquare Event iOS app via this link for free access in the regions within a 1,000km radius of Ukraine.
We will continue to listen, pivot, and support in whatever capacity we’re able. Please follow along for updates on BlindSquare’s continued support for Ukrainian refugees.