About Research Project

Disabled people’s voices have been largely absent from the sustainability debate, and from environmental groups. This project developed dialogues between these two traditionally separated communities (disabled people and environmental activists).

Through these dialogues we seek to understand more about different forms of resilience in support of the transition to a sustainable society.

This study takes a participatory action research approach, facilitated by walking, narrative and arts-based methods. The research takes an approach of co-production with participants, operating in the role of co-researchers.

We work inclusively to maximise participation, while recognising the challenges involved in this and the ways our different knowledge bases are traditionally valued.

19 co-researchers, self-identified as disabled or a sustainability practitioner, formed nine groups and undertook two walks per group (one walk chosen by each person). 

The co-researchers photographed their experiences and audio recorded their conversations. Also attending the walks were support workers (PAs) when needed.

This project explored questions raised by the proposition that disabled people have a ‘wisdom’ drawn from lived experience to contribute to sustainability, with the aim to understand more about different forms of resilience, so increasing knowledge for sustainability.

As co-researchers we:

  • ● gained a better understanding of how the lived experience of disabled people can contribute to a sustainable society.

    ● developed a platform to build and sustain a shared ongoing dialogue between disability and sustainability practitioners.

    ● engaged with planning agencies and policy makers with the outputs from the research, to inform planning and policy agendas.

    ● explored the place of physical and arts based methods to surface embodied practices.

About project