Volume LVI-Number 1

Lindsey Parnas

Abstract: Climate change disproportionately impacts disabled people. Although people with disabilities experience multidimensional inequalities, which heighten their vulnerability to climate change, they are often absent from climate change discourses. This paper will use disability justice, critical human security literature, environmental security, and migration studies literature to argue that disabled people, however, are powerful agents of change, and their full participation is critical to the success of adaptation and mitigation policies and programs as key climate stakeholders. Using the case studies of the United States during and after Hurricane Katrina and the Philippines during and after Typhoon Haiyan, this paper will discuss how American and Filipino disabled people experience climate change, and more specifically, climate-induced migration. The main research questions will be what vulnerabilities do disabled people experience in the face of climate change, how does that differ based on their multiplied identities (such as gender, ethnicity, race, and class), and how can adaptation better include disabled migrants? This document will also function as a working paper, providing recommendations for how humanitarian organizations and governments can better include the disabled community in their work, such as including disabled people in decision-making processes and employing a twin-track approach.

Keywords: Disability, disability studies, Hurricane Katrina, Typhoon Haiyan, climate change, climate-induced migration, disabled migrants, twin-track approach, vulnerabilities, adaptation

About the Author: Lindsey Parnas (they/she) is currently candidate for the Master of Arts of Arab Studies (MAAS) and Diplomacy Studies certificate at the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service. They have extensive work experience in gender and social inclusion, peacebuilding, and countering violent extremism, and they currently work as a Domestic Radicalization Researcher at START, University of Maryland and a Social Inclusion Program Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Sciences Po Paris in Political Science and Middle East Affairs and a BA from the University of California Berkeley in Global Studies, receiving summa cum laude at both schools.

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