Over 61 million Americans have a disability and more than 1 billion do world-wide. Yet climate justice circles typically don’t include a disability perspective. This is why we are thrilled that the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), a national, nonprofit network of university-based centers and programs in every state and territory working to advance policy and practice for people living with disabilities and their families, is now partnering with ecoAmerica through their Climate for Health program. This partnership expands AUCD’s National Center on Disability in Public Health disability inclusion work and related emergency preparedness efforts to make sure communities who have been excluded from climate conversations and decision-making tables are leading the way to equitable climate solutions.
“We look forward to partnering to proactively work on these issues. People with disabilities need to be engaged at every level of climate justice. We must work with climate and health partners to foster connections, build trust, create sustainable relationships,” says John Tschida, AUCD’s Executive Director. “Our work is to help partners identify opportunities for disability inclusion in local planning and show how to take action.” AUCD’s National Center on Disability in Public Health works with partners to address health disparities that are ongoing challenges for people living with disabilities, like emergency preparedness and wellness and mental health.
“ecoAmerica’s mission to build public support and political resolve for climate solutions is built on our commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The importance of partnership between the disability community and the work of building climate solutions is especially timely given the accessibility issues encountered during COP26. Those who are most impacted by climate impacts should be first to plan solutions. We are excited about this new partnership and grateful to AUCD for their leadership,” said Meighen Speiser, ecoAmerica’s Executive Director. ecoAmerica works across faith, health, and local community sectors to build and amplify ambitious climate action.
The accessibility challenges playing out at COP26 are not new for people with disabilities. This AUCD-ecoAmerica partnership is a critical way to support disability inclusion in climate health discussions and creative solutions.
ecoAmerica builds institutional leadership, public support, and political resolve for climate solutions in the United States. We help national mainstream organizations elevate their climate leadership, providing them strategy, tools and resources to: demonstrate visible climate leadership, empower climate literacy, engage all constituents, and build collective action and advocacy. We help our partners transform into national climate leaders who inspire others on solutions. ecoAmerica.org
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