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Disability and Climate Change: Plain Language Version

Original Version by Julia Watts Belser

Plain Language by Reid Caplan

July 1, 2022

Table of Contents:

Words to Know

In these pages, we explain how disability and climate change are connected.  We explain what discrimination is and why discrimination makes climate change worse.  Disabled people are hurt more by climate change because of discrimination.  But disabled people also have good ideas for living in a changing world.  We know how to make the world more accessible for everyone.

Ableism – Discrimination against people with disabilities.

Capitalism – The idea that the goal of society should be to make as much money as possible. People who believe in capitalism think the Earth should get used to make money.

Discrimination – When someone gets treated unfairly by society because of who they are, in ways that take away their rights.

Disability Justice – A movement that fights against discrimination. It got made by and for queer and trans disabled people of color.  You can learn more about disability justice by going to

Indigenous – People who were the first to live in a certain place. For example, Native Americans are the indigenous people of the United States.

Racism – Discrimination against people of color.

Julia Watts Belser, “Disability and Climate Change.”  Plain Language translation by Reid Caplan.  Disability and Climate Change: A Public Archive Project.  July 1, 2022.

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