National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities

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.

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

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

Reproductive Health

08/05/2019 We have released a series of briefs on the intersection between reproductive health, sex education, contraception use, and disability. These materials provide information on a variety of topics relating to the sexual and reproductive health of women with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the United States. This information was compiled by researchers from The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy and provides digestible summaries of some of the barriers women with disabilities face in receiving high-quality reproductive care and sex education. 

Female Sterilization and Cognitive Disability in the United States, 2011-2015 (Brief)

Provision of Moderately and Highly Effective Reversible Contraception to Insured Women with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Brief)

Sterilization of Women with and without Cognitive Disabilities in the United States (Fact Sheet)

Birth Control for Women with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Fact Sheet)

ParentingWell Learning Collaborative

Massachusetts Behavioral Health Providers are participating in the ParentingWell Learning Collaborative

ParentingWell® is an approach to routine practice that makes talking about parenting, children, and family experiences a natural part of the conversation and of an adult’s recovery process. 

Learn more about the ParentingWell Practice Profile


Call for Blog Submissions

Share your parenting story!

Next deadline: Tuesday, September 15, 2020, at 5:00pm EST

The National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities, a program of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University, is currently looking for parents with disabilities to contribute to a quarterly blog on the experiences and needs of parents with disabilities. Contributors will be paid $100 per accepted submission. We believe in placing parents with disabilities at the forefront, and one way to do that is invite them to share their own experiences. We are interested in bringing together a racially, culturally, and experientially diverse group of people to contribute. 

Go to Call for Submissions | Go to Community Blog

Upcoming & Recent Webinars

Robyn Powell, Co-Investigator

Passing State Legislation to Protect the Rights of Parents with Disabilities

Monday July 27, 2020

3:00pm EST

More info...


Laura Stout

Little People and Parenting

Wednesday March 4, 2020

12:00-1:00pm EST

More info...

Access the Recording

Kara Ayers, Consultant

Supporting the Social Lives of Children of Parents with Disabilities

Thursday April 2, 2020

2:00-3:00pm EST

More info...

Access the Recording


Go to all Research Briefs |  Go to all Research Briefs for Parents  |  Go to all Research Briefs for Professionals

Current State Legislation Supporting Parents with Disabilities

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.

Go to Interactive Map | Go to Legal Guidance | Go to Summary of State Legislation

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