AbstractPeople with disability experience multidimensional inequalities, which heighten their vulnerability to climate change. An understanding of the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of people with disability can be gained through considering how they have fared during the types of events associated with climate change, such as droughts, floods, heat waves, hurricanes, and wildfires. A systematic review was conducted to identify factors associated with climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity of people with disability. Papers were sourced from 12 electronic databases, the Google search engine, the websites of 21 organizations, and the reference lists of included papers. Thirty-four papers (relating to 28 studies) met the selection criteria. Most studies were located in the United States and almost half were focused on hurricane events. Factors contributing to vulnerability included personal factors (e.g., female gender, uncoupled or living alone, non-white ethnicity, and low income) environmental factors (commonly, limited practical support from government agencies and disability organizations), bodily impairments (cognitive impairments, hearing impairments, progression of impairments, relapse/exacerbation of symptoms, and thermoregulation difficulties), and activity limitations and participation restrictions (limited preparedness, difficulties with evacuation, and difficulties reassembling individual accommodations and repairing or replacing adaptive equipment). Factors relating to their adaptive capacity included personal factors (e.g., formal education), environmental factors (practical support from mainstream organizations, disability organizations, family, and friends), and activities and participation (emergency planning, keeping an emergency pack, and seeking information). People with disability are vulnerable to climate change due largely to inequalities and their exclusion from adaptation and mitigation efforts.
Weather, Climate, and Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 14, 2017
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