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Ableism and Disablism in the UK Environmental Movement

Deborah Fenney

Environmental Values 26 (2017): 503-522. doi: 10.3197/096327117X14976900137377

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This article considers disabled people's involvement with the UK environmental movement. It draws on findings from qualitative research with disabled people in the UK exploring experiences of access to sustainable lifestyles. A number of experiences of disablism (the manifestation of oppression against disabled people) and ableism (assumptions and valorisations of non-disabled normality) were described. Similar issues were also identified in relevant documentary sources and from research into disabled people's experiences in the context of other movements such as the wider anti-capitalist movement. These findings suggest that ableism may be a significant feature of the UK environmental movement. If this is the case, there are important implications for the wider success of this movement's aims in terms of achieving environmental protection, as well as for the ongoing exclusion experienced by disabled people with regard to pro-environmental activities.


Ableism, disablism, exclusion, environmental movement

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Voluntary Simplicity and the Social Reconstruction of Law: Degrowth from the Grassroots Up. Samuel Alexander

De-Growth Is Not a Liberal Agenda: Relocalisation and the Limits to Low Energy Cosmopolitanism. Stephen Quilley

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Environmentalism and Democracy in the Age of Nationalism and Corporate Capitalism. Clive L. Spash

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