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Disability and Climate Change: Plain Language

Original Version by Julia Watts Belser

Plain Language Translation by Reid Caplan

July 1, 2022

Table of Contents:

How are disability and climate change connected?

Climate change makes living more dangerous and more expensive for everyone. But climate change hurts disabled people more than non-disabled people. Disabled people get put in more danger when natural disasters happen. Things like hurricanes, floods, and electric outages make the systems that help us live our lives stop working. Non-disabled people usually don’t think about what happens to disabled people when these systems stop working.

For example, Pauline has a disability, and lives in Saratoga. A natural disaster causes the electricity to go out in Saratoga. The outage affects everyone living in Saratoga. But it is especially dangerous for Pauline. Pauline uses a medical device that helps keep her alive. The medical device needs electricity to work. If Pauline can’t find somewhere with electricity, Pauline could die. So Pauline has to use extra effort to make sure she has electricity in emergencies. She has to work harder than non-disabled people to make sure she will be okay.

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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