Based on the positive response to the briefing, APA and other groups will meet again to discuss next steps.
A&M Health Science Center College of
In her remarks at the briefing,
Andrews called for more research on
parents with disabilities and highlighted
the need for culturally competent
trained health-care professionals in
addressing the reproductive needs
of women with disabilities. She
cited a recent survey that found that
gynecologists were least likely to be
able to accommodate patients with a
wheelchair in their offices. She also gave
examples of challenges she faces as a
mother with a disability, such as finding
day care and the difficulty of using her
ob-gyn’s examination table.
Andrews also offered
recommendations related to parenting
• Increase federal funding for
research on parents with disabilities
to include the collection of data on
prevalence, experiences, needs and
barriers faced by these families.
• Include specific protections
for parents with disabilities in the
Adoption and Safe Families Act to
provide for reasonable accommodations.
Research suggests that parents with
disabilities experience unfair challenges
during the adoptive process. Further,
there is growing evidence that prejudicial
practices are systematically used in the
termination of parental rights cases
involving parents with disabilities.
Congress should amend the Adoption
and Safe Families Act so that these
practices are specifically forbidden and
so that the appropriate agencies are
directed to enforce the law.
Stefanie Reeves is a senior legislative
and federal affairs officer in APA’s Public
Interest Government Relations Office.
To watch the Associated
Press news story, “Disabled
Parents — a Fight for
Respect,” go to http://