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Connections Between Climate Change and Disability

People with disabilities are both the most vulnerable and the most overlooked population when it comes to addressing the effects of climate change. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, people with disabilities are more at risk in the case of disasters due to 1) a lack of access to education, 2) existing health conditions, and 3) difficulty evacuating safely. Further, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy highlights that because disabled people are more likely to experience poverty, this further elevates risk.

Following the occurrence of a disaster, people have limited access to necessary resources and services including life-sustaining care. And many people will become newly disabled as a result. For all of these reasons, it’s imperative to include disability, especially multi-marginalized disabled people, in work focused on protecting the environment and preventing climate change.

As a starting point to better understand the impacts of climate change and natural disasters on people with disabilities, we encourage you to read Climate Change, Environmental Activism, and Disability in Stanford Social Innovation Review. Then, explore the following resources and articles.

Perspectives from People with Disabilities


Podcasts and Films

Philanthropic Efforts