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Eco-Ableism and Accessibility: Listening to Disabled Voices in the Zero Waste Movement

If you have heard the term Eco-ableism (and you are not disabled) it may have been in the context of the plastic straw ban, or bans on other single use plastics like straws or cutlery. Ableism refers to discrimination on both the societal and interpersonal levels against disabled people (or people with disabilities depending on their preference). Eco-ableism is the ways in which that discrimination plays out in the context of the environmental movement. 

What is Eco-ableism?

Eco-ableism and eco-facism in general scapegoat and demonize people of marginalized identities as the cause of, or main participants in, the degradation of the environment. This puts the burden of the climate movement on BIPOC, poor people, immigrants, 2SLGTBQ+ people and, of course, the disabled. People who, due to their marginalizations, are often hit hardest by the effects of climate change. 

It is not the place of non-disabled people to speak over disabled voices on topics that not only primarily affect the disabled community, but that are already being spoken on by the disabled community. So here are some resources that we have been using to learn about eco-ableism and educate ourselves.

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1 comment

Andrew Taylor

So very pleased to see accessibility discussed in this context, and I’m extra pleased to read the mention of the ways some people with disabilities like to be addressed. Keep up the great work.

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