06 March 2011

Environment and Disability?

Can I bring environmental thinking together with analysis of how society constructs disability?

On the one hand, it ought to be obvious, because so much "disability" is in fact created by socially constructed obstacles.

On the other hand, much environmental writing has to do with idealization of individual experiences in nature that seem to require not merely absence of "dis-ability," but the ability to undertake seemingly superhuman feats of strength and stamina.

Things like climbing cliffs, walking for weeks through the woods, surviving only on what "nature" offers.

If one requires daily medical interventions (even in the form of medications) for survival, or if one needs relatively flat and smooth surfaces to move, then such feats of environmental engagement are put fully out of reach.

I'm going to stop now, before this line of thinking causes the top of my head to blow off. But a train of thought has been put in motion.