US/NIS Municipal and Community Problem-Solving Program

Corvallis, Oregon and Uzhgorod, Ukraine

Physically Disabled Children in Uzhgorod, Ukraine:
Meeting Challenges, Creating Opportunities

Funded by US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Administered by Sister Cities International
For more information, please contact Carol Paulson, Project Director
October 1997

Aid to Uzhgorod II shipment included over $92,000 worth of wheelchairs and therapy equipment as cost-share for MCPSP. A delegation of 5 traveled to Uzhgorod to distribute equipment and provide training in orthopedic splint-making and ball therapy.

January-February 1998

Uzhgorod exchangees (one physician, two physician-therapists, and two people with disabilities) traveled to Corvallis to receive therapy training, study access issues, observe wheelchair sports, and learn effective advocacy.

April 1998

Corvallis exchangees (one physical therapist, one occupational therapist, one wheelchair sportsman, and the project director) traveled to Uzhgorod to conduct further therapist training, establish wheelchair sports, and promote advocacy issues.

July 1998

A van was purchased in Uzhgorod to transport children with disabilities. The $10,400 purchase price was donated by First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis.

October 1998

Dr. Ildiko Maltseva, an Uzhgorod physical therapist, completed a one-month internship in Early Intervention in Corvallis. A video introduction to Early Intervention was produced in Russian, PAL format, for use in NIS.

May 1999

Remaining MCPSP funds were used in May 1999 for a follow-on activity: the US-NIS Women’s Consortium of Kiev conducted a one-week leadership training for Uzhgorod women with disabilities.

US/NIS Municipal and Community Problem-Solving Program II Corvallis, Oregon and Uzhgorod, Ukraine 1999-2000

Meeting Challenges, Creating Opportunities: Phase II

Funded by US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Administered by Sister Cities International

October 1999

The Optimist Center (preschool and therapy center for Uzhgorod children with disabilities) opened. The Center, only the third of its kind in Ukraine, is a collaboration among the Uzhgorod Optimists (society of people with disabilities), the Uzhgorod city government, and Corvallis Sister Cities Association.

November 1999

Aid to Uzhgorod 3 shipment included over $58,000 in supplies and equipment for the Optimist Preschool and Therapy Center and the Computer Center for youth with disabilities.

January – February 2000

Uzhgorod exchangees (the Optimist center director and preschool teacher, the Uzhgorod superintendent of instruction, and a representative of the disabled community in Uzhgorod) traveled to Corvallis to study successful operation of a preschool-therapy program, mainstreaming in public schools, and advocacy.

March 2000

Corvallis exchangees (physical therapist, occupational therapist, and educational director of local center which combines therapy and preschool; disabled sportsman, and project director) traveled to Uzhgorod to work with Optimist Center staff on therapy and curricula, and to promote expansion of sports and recreational activities and effective advocacy.

June 2000

Computer Center for youth with disabilities opened in Uzhgorod with furniture and three computers donated by Corvallis as part of MCPSP. Additional computers and equipment funded by a European Union grant received through the support of the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev.

Follow-On Activities

September 2000

Three Oregonians traveled to Uzhgorod to establish Challenge Games sport competitions for children with physical disabilities and a weekly Motor Fitness Class for school-age children with physical and mental disabilities.

December 2000 – January 2001

Remaining grant funds were used to provide Optimist Center staff with additional therapy and pedagogical training in Kiev, L’Viv, and Odessa, Ukraine.