Professor gives speech on connection of disabilities and the environment


Matthew Cella is passionate about the connection between disabilities and nature. However, many would question how these two would coincide with one another.

According to Cella, the answer is smoothly.

Cella gave a speech Thursday, April 11, titled “You don’t have to hike the trails to care about the forest: Disability narratives and the environment.”

Nature can make one person feel whole and Cella centered his talk on three main authors who see this mentality fit — Eli Clare, Simi Linton and Nancy Mairs.

All three of the authors have two things in common; they are all disabled and connect with nature.
Cella often referred to autobiographical narratives written by the three authors themselves.

He has written a scholarly journal inspired by the authors and the topic of disabilities and the environment.

Nature and disabilities is a subject they each struggle with due to societal restrictions.

Society limits these individuals from exploring nature because there is no trail to climb the mountain or nice pathway to see the forest, however they are faced with the dilemma of their disabilities.

Nevertheless, these individuals do not look down upon themselves; rather, they look upon their disabilities as a part of them.

Linton feels that one does not have to be in the forest to hike or fall in love because the love resides from memories and the heart.

Many would feel that reconstructing nature would ruin what was intended, but society needs to reconfigure for all to enjoy simple pleasures in life. By doing so, it would further promote range for all bodies to enjoy.

Hopefully one day, all tensions can be set aside, and integration in nature can take place so there will be capacity for all types of life to join nature, according to Cella.

Nature and disabilities correlate on the level of understanding how to have all individuals explore nature. Society goes with what is seen as acceptable and that takes the disabled from exploring the realms of nature due to restrictions. However, Clare, Linton and Mairs seem to be happy with how they are. They just learn to face daily obstacles many will never seem to understand.

Not only is not understanding hard, but so is not having the same space to share such experiences as nature.


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