Hurricane Map

 Climate Change & Disability

In July 2019, the UN acknowledged people with disabilities with respect to climate change as a human rights concern. 

Living with a disability makes people more vulnerable to the risks of disasters and extreme weather. Moreover, people with disabilities often live in areas that are more vulnerable to flooding. They often do not have the funds for necessary support, such as air conditioning or accessible escape routes. 

Different types of disabilities cause additional risks. For some, it may be an inability to see or hear emergency warnings. For others, it may be an inability to tolerate close quarters in evacuations. Yet, there may be multiple risks for other people, such as requiring a wheelchair for mobility, requiring a ventilator to breathe, and requiring assistance for self-care. Regardless of the type or the etiology that individuals with disabilities live with, rapidly changing temperatures, increased flooding, hurricanes, and potential fires can wreak havoc on these people and their families. 

Hence, all members of the Sustain Our Abilities Advisory team, represented by people living with disabilities and rehabilitation professionals around the world, believe it is imperative that discussions of climate change include the unique issues of persons with disabilities and that this is the biggest issue people with disabilities will need to face in the future. Moreover, we believe that the only way for the problem of climate change to be solved is for people everywhere to work together in community to work in all ways possible to conquer this challenge. 

We Are Working to Affect Change by:

  • Establishing an international network of people living with disabilities and rehabilitation professionals to encourage short and long-term changes that will better serve people with disabilities and the climate simultaneously.

  • Focusing on how disasters and climate change are impacting quality of life of those who are in vulnerable areas or who have faced weather disasters.

  • ​Encouraging world wide action on Day for Tomorrow.

  • ​Providing Round the World seminars on health and quality of life that bring together experts in rehabilitation and people living with the issues and encouraging equal participation from economically developing and developed countries, men and women.  These green online courses and webinars are free for all on the YouTube Sustain Our Abilities Channel

  • We are supporting inclusive systemic solutions other International Climate and Environmental groups to ensure people with and without disabilities sustain our abilities.

  • We are members of the Global Climate and Health Alliance, work with The Journal of Climate Change and Health, work with the International Society of PM&R and The International Spinal Cord Society to ensure climate and health is prioritized for people with disabilities. 

  • We are creating educational programs and materials related to sustainability and quality of life for people with disabilities and rehabilitation professionals.  

  • We are increasing awareness through social media on how and why we must SAVE THE PLANET and Sustain Our Abilities.  Follow us and learn, engage, and share!