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Greener, more sustainable lifestyles are a topic of conversation across our communities, from schools to community groups, to businesses and policymakers. But what about people with disabilities? The different needs and lifestyle adaptations of those with disabilities are often not considered when it comes to changing government policies to reduce carbon emissions and improve the planet.

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University are working on a new project, Eco-Ableism, in collaboration with West Lothian Libraries and The Ability Centre in Carmondean, to address just this. The ‘Eco-Ableism' project aims to identify the challenges and barriers that people with disabilities in West Lothian face in trying to adopt greener, more sustainable, lifestyles. The research project will engage with local groups and individuals to identify the potential discrimination they face as efforts are made to enact new eco-friendly policies at local and national levels.

Professor Kate Sang, from the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, is co-leading the project and aims to work within communities, with people's voices and personal experiences at its heart. Kate has vast experience is working with under-represented communities, researching disability, gender and gynaecological health at work.

The project team will work with groups to identify the difficulties disabled people face in their daily life choices, exploring how this impacts upon their ability to engage with policy and process changes as councils and other government organisations seek to align with post-COP26 agendas. The team will examine how to empower individuals to have a voice when developing environmental aspirations, enabling sustainable lifestyle choices to be as equitable as possible. The project seeks to identify practical support mechanisms that can be rolled out across the community in West Lothian and beyond. 

Do you have a disability or a long-term health condition and would like to get involved?

Would you be interested in finding out more? We'd love to hear from you!

Get in touch:

You can find out more about projects funded through the Scottish Government Public Library Improvement Fund on the ScotGov website. 

Key information

Camilla Irvine-Fortescue

Job title
Responsible Impact Specialist