‘Up until the moment that I'm here at the table, I'm dealing with a lot of barriers’: Experiences of accessing food among adults with mobility disabilities in Toronto, Canada.

Authors: Naomi Schwartz*, Ms., Ron Buliung, University of Toronto Mississauga, Kathi Wilson, University of Toronto Mississauga
Topics: Disabilities, Food Systems, Transportation Geography
Keywords: Food access, mobility disability, food insecurity, accessibility, mobile methods
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Physical access to food is frequently studied using universal measures, like distance to a store, excluding experiences of people who move or travel differently, like people with mobility disabilities. Aiming to understand disabling experiences of food access, mobile interviews were conducted with 23 adults with mobility disabilities in Toronto, Canada. This study looks beyond the effect of the ‘disabled body’ or oversimplified measures, instead focusing on relational distances to food, including physical, economic, and social resources that could lead to pathways of disablement. Results highlight intersecting disabling barriers to food access, including socioeconomic barriers and physical barriers within the home, neighbourhoods, and transportation and food destinations as well as small-scale barriers and temporal inaccessibility due to construction and inclement weather. These findings suggest the importance of improving and enforcing accessibility standards in public and private places in coordination with addressing socioeconomic disadvantage of people with disabilities.

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