In 2021 Climate Justice Union in partnership with People with Disabilities WA were successful in securing a small grant from the Climate Action Network Australia to identify the links and connections between Disability and Climate Change.
Why we did the project?
Climate change is an important issue to deal with, however we do not really know a lot about how it will affect people with disabilities in WA and what people with disabilities understand about climate change and their lives.
We know that climate change impacts people disproportionately (people who are already vulnerable/marginalised will be impacted earlier and harder than others) and we know that those who are most impacted are often not involved in the design of advocacy and policy.
People with disabilities are often ‘left behind’ during extreme events and their priorities and needs are rarely understood or integrated into our climate advocacy.
We are also aware that much of the work in the Climate movement excludes people with lived experience of disabilities. Conversations about climate change and climate action rarely link with disability rights or with disabled people’s priorities.
Meanwhile, many people with disabilities are often unaware of how climate change may impact their lives / is impacting their lives.
This project has enabled CJU to develop an advocacy agenda that prioritizes disability rights and climate action. We are also working with policy makers and organisations to incorporate these priorities (and working processes) into their work.
The Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is an advisory body who guide the development of CJU's disability work. The Steering Committee is not a legally responsible body and members are not expected to undertake administrative or operational tasks. The steering committee is made up of people with diverse disabilities and cultural backgrounds. CJU are indebted to their work and the guidance they have provided.
Whilst this was originally designed as a 12 month program it is clear that 'crip time' requires different timelines.
The purpose of the Steering Committee Group is: