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NED Blog, Newsletters, Articles & Editorials

The New Earth Disability team has produced many publications over the last several years. NED began as a blog in 2014 and has transformed into a full initiative with research, and ongoing newsletter, public education, and partnerships. Here are some of our existing resources:

  1. The NED blog
  2. NED newsletter archive
  3. Outside research, articles and editorials

The New Earth Disability Blog

The “New Earth Disability” blog was started in 2014 by WID Policy and Research Specialist Alex Ghenis, with the goal of understanding the intersection of climate change and disability. The blog includes several shorter editorials on the need for adaptation and the format of the historic COP 21 climate change Summit in Paris in 2015. There are also two longer research series on heat waves and climate-related migration, with two posts and three posts, respectively.

Editorials on Adaptation

Climate change will progress to some extent no matter how much we reduce our carbon emissions. In these posts, NED covers why it is important to adapt to the coming climate change rather than just focus on limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The blog also addresses why it is important to adapt with a special focus on people with disabilities.

The next piece was originally published on the blog for the Union of Concerned Scientists, who dedicated their work in the month of April to raising awareness about climate change. Thank you for all of your efforts!

Editorials on the 2015 COP21 Paris Summit

The landmark climate change Summit in Paris in the fall of 2015, called the “21st Conference of the Parties” or “COP21,” established a global framework to limit emissions with the goal of staying below 2°C of warming compared to preindustrial levels. The Summit also focused on staying below 1.5°C, if possible. These blog posts reflect on the Paris Summit in two ways: first, the blog say that the summit itself should have put much more focus on adapting and preparing for climate change, rather than just cutting emissions. And second, the blog outlines why setting a goal of 2°C is the wrong way to think: instead, we should be focusing on the amount of CO2 that is present in the atmosphere – and realistically, 2°C is not possible to meet. So, we must move beyond that and sent more realistic goals.

Heat Waves and Extreme Heat (2 Parts)

Climate change will lead to a massive increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves and extreme heat events. These NED posts outline the causes and consequences of those extreme heat events, including the impacts on human health. It also shows how these disproportionately affect people with disabilities, their health and well-being. And finally, the posts outline some recommendations to protect the health and well-being of people with disabilities as heat waves progress even more into the future.

Climate-Related Migration (3 parts)

It is projected that hundreds of millions of people will be displaced and migrate due to the consequences of climate change, including evacuating from extreme weather events, escaping flooding shorelines, and becoming refugees from conflict sparked by climate factors. This migration will be especially hard for people with disabilities, who may lack access to accessible transportation or housing, experience difficulty maintaining or reenroll in healthcare and social services, or simply be turned away at the border because of their disability. These three posts cover the connection between climate change and migration, what that migration means for people with disabilities, and recommended actions to protect their lives and well-being.

NED Newsletter and Archives

New Earth Disability has a regular newsletter, published several times per year, that can be delivered to your email’s inbox! Please enroll for the current newsletter for NED. A newsletter archive for NED is also available.

March 2018: Climate Change and the Medical/Social Models of Disability: the Philosophical Connections

December 2017: Disability and Disasters: a Troubling Year

February 2017: An Introduction to Disability Climate Justice

Outside Writing

The New Earth Disability team is always working to raise awareness of the connection between climate change and disability. With that in mind, we have produced several academic pieces and other articles for outside publications and websites.

Here are a few of our past publications:

The Environmental Impact of Wheel Life.” Alex Ghenis, New Mobility magazine. September 2018

Disability Inclusion in Climate Change: Impacts and Intersections.” Marsha Saxton and Alex Ghenis, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity – An International Journal. 2018

 “Climate Adaptation, Adaptive Climate Justice, and People with Disabilities.” Alex Ghenis, Union of Concerned Scientists guest commentary. April 2017

Making Migration Accessible: Inclusive Relocation for People with Disabilities.” Alex Ghenis, International Organization on Migration Policy Brief Series. June 2016

 “The End of the World as We Know It – Climate Change, Climate Justice and Disability.” Alex Ghenis, New Mobility magazine. March 2016

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Text overlay: conference access initiative 2018. Podium icon with small WID globe, over deep orange background.

2018 Conference Accessibility Initiative

For the third consecutive year, the World Institute on Disability (WID) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. partnered with several civil rights and community development organizations to highlight conference accessibility.

Much like in 2016 and 2017, WID and JPMorgan Chase achieved this by providing accessibility enhancements, such as sign language interpreters, open captioning, accessible transportation, rented mobility devices, sighted guides, scholarships for Disability Ambassadors, and a disability concierge desk, as well as support and training for conference organizers, hotel staff, and A/V teams.

WID was delighted to partner again with captioner, Deanna Baker, who helped us ensure thousands of people experienced open captioning for the first time in 2016 and thousands more in 2017!

Organizations Served in 2018

If you haven’t already, be sure to visit our main Conference Accessibility Initiative page to learn more about our initiative.


Enjoy some photos from the event.


Association for Enterprise Opportunity

“Attending the conference was yet another unexpected and wonderful opportunity I had on my professional journey as an actor, activist and entrepreneur.”-Diana Jordan

Read about the experience in the words of our AEO Disability Ambassadors.

And enjoy some photos from the event.


NeighborWorks America

“The NTI was a great networking opportunity and allowed me to hear concrete examples of great work going on in communities across the country.”-Allison Lourash

Read about the experience in the words of our NeighborWorks Disability Ambassadors.

And enjoy some photos from the event.


Center for Financial Services Innovation

“By exposing other people to new points of view and difference in capabilities, I hope to have educated and pushed individuals to think more about individuals with disabilities in the world of fintech and finance!”- Ray Parker

Read about the experience in the words of our CFSI Disability Ambassadors.

And enjoy some photos from the event.


National Fair Housing Alliance

“My early conferences were inaccessible, and the self-advocacy required to gain access was exhausting. Knowing that the 2018 conference was fully accessible to me provided me with the relief and clarity I needed to fully participate in and be a part of the conference.”- Megan Confer-Hammond

Read about the experience in the words of our NFHA Disability Ambassadors.

And enjoy some photos from the event.


Florida Housing Coalition

“The Disability Ambassador program allowed me and many in my same demographic to have a voice and advocate equal access and opportunity.”- Jose Morales

Read about the experience in the words of our FHC Disability Ambassadors.

And enjoy some photos from the event.


Prosperity Now

“Whatever action or inaction is made by the private and public sectors to address financial insecurity, the disability community will be majorly impacted. Therefore, it is vital that our voices are included in the conversation now and not after policy is in place.”- Sara Joehnk

Read about the experience in the words of our Prosperity Now Disability Ambassadors.

And enjoy some photos from the event.


Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

“I am hopeful that my inclusion and participation in this conference will help me be more aware of the social and political issues that we face as people of Hispanic and Latin American Heritage.”- Alice Bruns

Read about the experience in the words of our CHCI Disability Ambassadors.

And enjoy some photos from the event.


Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

“Disability is important in the African-American community because there are a disproportionate number of African Americans that have disabilities (and more severe disabilities) in comparison to other races and ethnicities.”- Tonya Bradley

Read about the experience in the words of our CBCF Disability Ambassadors.

And enjoy some photos from the event.


Upswell (Independent Sector)

Enjoy some photos from the event.


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