Voluntary assistance for the disabled can now be ordered online
The DISLIFE Volunteer service has begun operating in Russia.
At a press conference, the internet service’s creators demonstrated how to submit an application for assistance. Requests come into the system and are distributed to registered volunteers. Each volunteer’s virtual reputation depends on the user’s evaluation of their services – as with popular taxi services. People with disabilities can request delivery of food or medicines, to be driven somewhere or, for example, assistance with going for a walk.
DISLIFE’s head Yuriy Kovalev notes that the service has no geographical limitations. “We will now test the service within Moscow to see what problems arise, before making it available nationwide”, he says.
The service is also important for charities. According to the director of the Miracle of Life Foundation Anastasia Cherepanova, those living in other Russian cities often have to refuse treatment in Moscow due to a lack of funds for tickets.
“We had created a transport assistance programme for them, requiring substantial funding”, states Cherepanova. “Now with the DISLIFE Volunteer programme, we can use those funds directly for their treatment.
According to World Heath Organisation data, around 13 million Russians have a disability and a further 40 million have limited mobility, amounting to 9% of the population. Only 0.38% of university students have a disability according to a recent study. Those with physical limitations are often unable to build a career and choose not to go to university due to the barriers which exist — there is no one to help them even leave the house.