The Disabled Parenting Project (DPP)
What is the DPP?
The DPP, which is part of the National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities, is an online space for sharing experiences, advice, and conversations among disabled parents as well as those considering parenthood. The DPP serves as an information clearinghouse and interactive space for discussion and connection. In order to more fully understand the experiences and needs of disabled parents, the DPP also includes a digital and participatory action research (PAR) component, where parents are invited to tell their stories in their own voices through video interviews that will be uploaded and available for website visitors to discuss and learn from.
Why isn’t it called Parents with Disabilities Parenting Project, to reflect person-first language?
We deliberately titled this project the Disabled Parenting Project, recognizing and valuing our identities as disabled people. While disability is certainly only one part of an individual’s identity, we believe it is an important aspect and something we are proud of.
Throughout this website, we use both person-first and identity-first language interchangeably (e.g., parents with disabilities vs. disabled parents). Much has been written about person-first versus identity-first language. We encourage you to learn more about this important topic, and suggest the following to get you started:
Dunn, Dana S. & Andrews, Erin E. (2015). Person-first and identity-first language: Developing psychologists’ cultural competence using disability language. American Psychologist, 70(3), 255-264. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038636
Brown, Lydia. (2012). Identity-first language. Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. Retrieved from http://autisticadvocacy.org/identity-first-language/
Ladau, Emily. (2015). Why person-first language doesn’t always put the person first. Retrieved from http://www.thinkinclusive.us/why-person-first-language-doesnt-always-put-the-person-first/
Is the DPP only for parents with physical disabilities?
Absolutely not! Parents and prospective parents with all disabilities are encouraged to participate in the DPP! We strive to make this website inclusive and accessible to all. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make this website more accessible.
Parenting with a Disability
How many disabled parents exist in the United States?
This is an excellent question without a clear answer. Unfortunately, little data is collected on the prevalence of parents with disabilities and their children. However, recent research from Through the Looking Glass indicates that at least 4.1 million (6.2%) of parents in the United States have a disability. As people with disabilities become increasingly integrated into their communities, we expect this number to grow!
Does a person’s disability impact their ability to care for their children?
No, research has overwhelmingly found that a parent’s disability in and of itself does not predict one’s ability to raise children.
How can I find resources for parents with disabilities?
We encourage users to visit our resources page. We strive to keep it up-to-date and accurate. If you find something wrong or missing, please let us know! We also encourage users to utilize the message boards and ask others about resources.
What rights do disabled parents have?
While the DPP cannot give legal advice, we encourage you to review the technical assistance guidance on parents with disabilities issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If you think your rights have been violated, please contact your local Protection & Advocacy organization.
How can I connect with other parents and prospective disabled parents?
The Message Boards are an excellent place to connect with other parents and prospective disabled parents!