Event Title

"Interrogating the And": A Study of Environmentalism and Disability

Presenter Information

Melissa Cabat, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 341

Start Date

4-28-2017 4:30 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 5:50 PM

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between environmentalism and disability rights through multiple lenses. People with disabilities are often not given equal access to nature; the controversy about paved roads in national parks provides valuable insight into the connection between environmental justice and disability justice. Examining the attitudes of mainstream environmental activists provides a perspective on the two group's sometimes differing priorities. These activists often focus more narrowly on the correlation between environment and disability as being a matter of public health inequities, including air quality, pollution, and, more recently, the aftereffects of hydraulic fracturing. The recent history of climate activism serves as a useful case study for the interaction of disability activists and the larger environmental justice community. The Crips for Climate Justice movement, for example, reflects how climate justice and disability justice have long been intertwined. In addition, the relational dynamic between the disability and environmental communities is especially timely as the baby boomer population—which gave birth to the modern environmental movement--ages and faces obstacles to accessing their longstanding connection to nature. Moreover, discussing disability justice and environmental justice together in this growing field sets a precedent for inclusion of all groups in environmental justice, both on the university level and beyond.

Keywords:

environmentalism, disability rights

Notes

Session III, Panel 16 - Marginalized | Communities
Moderator: Greggor Mattson, Director of Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology

Link to full text thesis at OhioLINK ETD Center:
http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=oberlin1502030946268842

Major

Environmental Studies

Advisor(s)

T.S. McMillin, Environmental Studies

Project Mentor(s)

Elizabeth Hamilton, German Language & Literatures
Cheryl Cottine, Religion
Janet Fiskio, Environmental Studies
Evangeline Heiliger, Comparative American Studies; Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies

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Apr 28th, 4:30 PM Apr 28th, 5:50 PM

"Interrogating the And": A Study of Environmentalism and Disability

King Building 341

This paper explores the relationship between environmentalism and disability rights through multiple lenses. People with disabilities are often not given equal access to nature; the controversy about paved roads in national parks provides valuable insight into the connection between environmental justice and disability justice. Examining the attitudes of mainstream environmental activists provides a perspective on the two group's sometimes differing priorities. These activists often focus more narrowly on the correlation between environment and disability as being a matter of public health inequities, including air quality, pollution, and, more recently, the aftereffects of hydraulic fracturing. The recent history of climate activism serves as a useful case study for the interaction of disability activists and the larger environmental justice community. The Crips for Climate Justice movement, for example, reflects how climate justice and disability justice have long been intertwined. In addition, the relational dynamic between the disability and environmental communities is especially timely as the baby boomer population—which gave birth to the modern environmental movement--ages and faces obstacles to accessing their longstanding connection to nature. Moreover, discussing disability justice and environmental justice together in this growing field sets a precedent for inclusion of all groups in environmental justice, both on the university level and beyond.