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The U.N. Is Calling for the Inclusion of People With Disabilities in the Climate Change Debate

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Bug Mohani steers his wheelchair along a part of a highway washed out by Hurricane Matthew in Flagler Beach, Florida, on October 9th, 2016.

A line of elderly citizens unable to board a bus to evacuate a senior home. People with limited mobility sitting helpless by the side of the road. Wheelchairs buried in mud after a flood. Scenes and accounts like these became the norm in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, one of the deadliest natural disasters in the United States history. 

Ten years later, a documentary called “The Right to Be Rescued” showed, through the perspective of survivors, what official reports would also confirm: People with disabilities were disproportionately affected by the disaster. 

Over the last few years, stories about people with disabilities being left behind have continued to surface after tropical storms and wildfires in Puerto Rico, Texas, and California. Recently, the United Nations warned that climate crisis disasters are happening at the rate of one per week, urging developing countries to prepare for impact and to develop strategies to protect the most vulnerable populations, such as the poor, the elderly, children, and disabled people. 

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Thanks !

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