National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities
Disabled mother with child

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. We share our findings here on this website.

Father in wheelchair playing ball with son

We offer resources to support parents with disabilities, and information about working with parents with disabilities for social workers, researchers and legal professionals.

Family signing to each other

The Center for Parents recognizes that parents with disabilities know what they need. We are guided by the principle "nothing about us without us."

Advisory Board Member Spotlight

Julie Petty and sons
Julie Petty and her sons
Julie Petty is a self-advocate who was born with cerebral palsy and has been a leader in the self-advocacy movement both in Arkansas and nationally for several years.  Julie currently works at Partners for Inclusive Communities within the Arkansas University Center on Excellence for Disabilities and was the former Chairwoman of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.  Julie met her husband Brian while attending the University of Arkansas.  Their first son Logan was born in 2003 and their second son Warren was born in 2005.  Julie is excited about contributing to this national, cross-disability project where parents with varying disabilities have different but also similar needs. View Julie and her son Warren speaking out against discrimination.

Upcoming & Recent Webinars

Robyn Powell, Co-Investigator

Know Your Rights: Advocacy Strategies for Parents with Disabilities

July 24, 2018 

2:00-3:30pm EST

Recording available here

John Pirone

Deaf Parents' Approaches to Parenting

June 8, 2018 

1:00-2:30pm EST

Recording available here

Linda Long-Bellil, Co-Investigator

Raising Our Girls: Stories from Mothers with Disabilities and Daughters Who've Been There

May 8, 2018

12:00-1:00pm EST

Recording available here

Current State Legislation Supporting Parents with Disabilities

Image of United States map 

Despite notable achievements in other areas of disability rights, parents with disabilities continue to encounter significant discrimination. Parents with disabilities are more likely to have their children removed by the child welfare system as well as have their parental rights terminated. Moreover, within the family law system, disabled parents are less likely to gain access to custody or visitation of their children. Finally, prospective parents with disabilities encounter barriers to adopting children or becoming foster parents. While there are many reasons for the pervasive discrimination, it is notable that the child welfare, family law, and adoption systems are largely driven by state statutes.  More...