People may be born with disabilities, may develop or acquire them as they grow, or they may develop or acquire them as adults. Just as their peers without disabilities, adults with disabilities may choose to be parents and may seek resources, assistance, or assistive technology that they may need to care for their children, help them with their education, or participate in the community with them. Adults with disabilities have the right to have or adopt and raise children and form their own families. However, they may face barriers along the way, including a lack of assistive technology, societal attitudes about people with disabilities having children, physical and programmatic barriers in their communities, and having to advocate for their rights to be parents. NARIC’s information specialists are often asked for information and resources from parents with disabilities and their families to help them raise and keep their children, including assistive technology, service providers, and community programs. This month, we are highlighting evidence-based consumer products from the NIDILRR community for parents with disabilities, their families, and service providers, which may include guides, calendars, factsheets, and more.
Below, you will find just a few examples of evidence-based consumer products produced by the NIDILRR community:
- The National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities conducts research and provides training and technical assistance to improve the lives of parents with disabilities and their families, including racial and ethnic minority parents. They offer information sheets, research briefs, and other resources for parents with disabilities, social workers, researchers, and legal professionals that cover a variety of topics. They also offer parenting tips and strategies from parents with disabilities, including adaptive parenting strategies and equipment, a guide for parents with intellectual disabilities, and parenting with a disability during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the Center held four workshops to help parents with disabilities learn about their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which included informative readings. The Center also offers information and resources on child welfare, family law, and the rights of parents with disabilities and their families; information on health, mental health, and healthcare; and a series of webinars on various topics. Finally, the Center offers a blog for and by parents with disabilities.
- The Temple University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Community Living and Participation of People with Serious Mental Illness (TU Collaborative) advances the development of interventions that maximize community living and participation of people with severe mental illness, including parents with psychiatric disabilities, through research and knowledge translation activities in partnership with consumers and other key stakeholders, and serves as a national resource center for people with mental illness, their families, service providers, and others. The TU Collaborative provides resources on parenting with severe mental illness that include a leisure education toolkit, myths about parenting with mental illness, learning about special needs trusts, and more. Other topics include relationships, discrimination, and recreation and leisure.
- Through the Looking Glass (TLG) is home to a 2021 project on Increasing Adaptive Babycare Resources and Intervention Supports with Parents and Caregivers with Physical or Vision Disabilities. TLG published a five-page resource guide (PDF) featuring products and equipment available on the market to help parents care for their babies and themselves.
To learn more about these and other products from the NIDILRR community, contact NARIC’s information specialists.