NCD and Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Release New Parenting with a Disability Toolkit

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May 5, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, May 5, the National Council on Disability (NCD) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation will release “Parenting with a Disability: Know Your Rights Toolkit” at a historic White House Forum on the Civil Rights of Parents with Disabilities. The event will be streamed live via the White House web page. To watch, go to the White House website: http://wh.gov/live beginning at 9:30 am EST.

Currently, 35 states include disability as grounds for termination of parental rights. Nine states and the District of Columbia list physical disability in particular as grounds for termination of parental rights, even without evidence of abuse or neglect. These states include Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina in addition to the nation’s capital. In every state, the presence of a disability can be arbitrarily used when determining the “best” interests of a child.

NCD and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation are releasing the “Parenting with a Disability: Know Your Rights Toolkit” to build on the awareness raised following the release of NCD’s groundbreaking 2012 report, “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children”— the first of its kind for a federal agency.

Several of the report’s recommendations were adopted in August 2015, when the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance to states in custody cases involving parents with disabilities and announced a new collaborative partnership between the agencies, bringing together the federal child welfare and disability rights offices to jointly ensure the safety, permanence, and well-being of children while protecting the rights of parents with disabilities. In recent years, several states have acted by passing legislation to protect the rights of parents with disabilities. These include Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, California, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland, Missouri, and Washington. Several of these states utilized NCD’s model legislation for their bills.

Details and Agenda

Event: White House Forum on the Civil Rights of Parents with Disabilities

Date: Thursday May 5, 2013

Location: Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Time: 9:30 AM-12:00PM

Note: Due to White House security protocols this is an invitation-only event, however all interested parties are encouraged to join the event via live-stream. To watch, go to http://wh.gov/live beginning at 9:30 AM, EST

The event will include:

  • The release of the new toolkit (including a plain language version) for disabled parents, advocates, and allies;
  • Panels on various topics including the perspectives of parents with disabilities, insights from experts in the child welfare field;
  • A strategy session on how to implement the report’s recommendations; and
  • The re-release of the 2012 report with an easier to read layout, enhanced graphics, and photographs.

To download the “Parents with Disabilities Know Your Rights Toolkit” and the new enhanced edition of “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children” go to: http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2012/Sep272012

For more information, please contact:

Lawrence Carter-Long
Public Affairs Specialist, National Council on Disability
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20004
202-272-2112 Voice
202-272-2074 TTY
202-272-2022 Fax

 

  • A mother and son, sit outside in a driveway facing forward. Both are smiling. The mother is a wheelchair user.