Disabled Women on the Web

Disabled Women on the Web



Judi Chamberlain

Judi Chamberlain is a leading mental health advocate and writer. She authored on of the first consumer-written and consumer-focused books on mental health care. She is staff at the National Empowerment Center.

Personal Assistance Services for People with Psychiatric Disabilities” (2002)

“On Our Own: Patient Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System” 1978. Hawthorne Press. “One of the bibles of the patient rights movement…”

Judy Panko-Reis

Co-Director of the Health Resources Center for Women with Disabilities, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Received the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership Program Award.

She has chapters in:
Women with Visible and Invisible Disabilities
Multiple Intersections, Multiple Issues, Multiple Therapies by Martha Banks and Ellyn Kaschak, Eds. 2003: Haworth Press.

Women Living with Traumatic Brain Injury: Social Isolation, Emotional Functioning and Implications for Psychotherapy (Debjani Mukherjee, Judy Panko Reis, and Wendy Heller)

Sandra Welner, M.D.

Sandra Welner was an amazing physician. She became disabled after she had completed her medical training. She transformed her career from being a surgeon (pre-disability) to being the preeminent researcher and clinician on disabled women’s health (post-disability). She provided invaluable resources to both the medical and disability communities. Her death at age 40 created an enormous vacuum in medical care for women with disabilities.

Welner, S., Gynecologic Care of the Disabled Woman. Contemporary OB/GYN, Vol. 38, No. 1, p. 55, 1993.

Welner, Sandra, Pregnancy in Women with Disabilities. Cherry and Merkatz's Complications of Pregnancy, Fifth Edition (W.R. Cohen, ed.), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2000.

Welner, Sandra, Reproductive Endocrinology and Disability: The Effect of Disability on Menstrual Cyclicity and Fertility. Infertility and Reproductive Clinics of North America, Vol. 9, No. 4, October, 1998.

Sylvia Caras

Sylvia, the Internet, and the Madness Group 1994-1998


Gill, C.J. (1999). As bad as we imagined: Empirical evidence of stress and distress in the lives of women with disabilities. Presented (via video) at Promoting the Health and Wellness of Women with Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Antonio, TX.

Haran, C. (2000). Services Denied: Why women with disabilities aren't screened for cancer. www.4woman.gov.

Krotoski, D. M., Nosek, M. A., & Turk, M. A. (1996). Women with Physical Disabilities: Achieving and Maintaining Health and Well-Being.: Paul H. Brooke.

Li, L., & Ford, J. A. (1998). Illicit drug use by women with disabilities. American Journal of Drug & Alcohol Abuse, 24(3), 405-418.


Health Resource Center for Women with Disabilities
The Center provides reproductive, gynecological services, peer support education , advocacy and research services that enable disabled women to become self- determining in achieving physical and psychosocial well being. Center is run by and for disabled women in partnership with staff of a renown rehabilitation hospital--the first comprehensive center established by disabled women nationally.

We developed a mentoring pilot project for disabled girls and women. In addition we offer free educational seminars, free educational newsletter (circulates 9000 internationally), develop educational videos, and text book chapters for health providers, peer support and job skill trainings for disabled girls and women. We offer user friendly gynecological services to bridge the gap in gynecological services for disabled women We offer peer and education programs to eliminate social isolation, depression, low self-esteem etc. Research and education of health providers to help facilitate self-determination in disabled women patients.

Our services are all designed to offer user friendly resources to disabled women and girls, their allies and health providers to replace the scant or harmful services that have existed traditionally.

Empowerment of disabled women and girls: Disabled women and girls comprise our community board which drives our center¹s programs and activities and staff. Disabled women and girls develop, conduct and execute all educational, psychosocial, advocacy, executive and administrative functions of center. They also shape medical service delivery and research. Our center is run by and for disabled women.

Breast Health Access for Women with Disabilities, in Berkeley, Calif., may be the nation's only breast health center designed specifically for disabled women. BHAWD teaches breast self-examination, and provides clinical breast exams (free for women who can't do their own self-exams) and referrals for accessible mammography.


Center for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD)

National Empowerment Center, Inc.
Recovery is the focus of this site run by and for people with psychiatric disabilities. Judi Chamberlain, mental health advocate and pioneer, works here.

National Women’s Health Information Center has extensive section on women with disabilities including women of color, sexuality, abuse, breast health, etc.

Sexual health website


California Legislative Briefing on Health Care Issues for Young Women with Disabilities

Catherine P. Coyle, P., & Mayra C. Santiago, P., FACSM. (2002). Healthcare Utilization Among Women With Physical Disabilities. Medscape Women's Health eJournal [2002, July 15,2002].

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (1998). Substance use disorder treatment for people with physical and cognitive disabilities. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 29, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 98-3249.

Ford, J., & Corbitt, E.M. (1999, Summer). Substance abuse: A strong risk, often overlooked. Window on Wellness, 8-11.

Freeman, A. C., Ferreyra, N., & Calabrese, C. (1997). Fostering Recovery for Women with Disabilities: Eliminating Barriers to Substance Abuse Programs.

Gill, C. J. & Brown, A. A. (2000). Overview of health issues of older women with intellectual disabilities. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 18 (1), 23-36.

Gill, C.J., Kirschner, K.L., & Panko-Reis, J. (1994). Health services for women with disabilities: Barriers and portals. In A. J. Dan (Ed.) Reframing Women's Health (pp. 357-366). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Gill, C. (2001). What is the "social model of disability" and why should you care? IDHD Alert, 12, 8-9.

Olkin, R. (1999). What psychotherapists should know about disability. New York: The Guilford Press.

O’Toole, C.J. (1996). Disabled Lesbians: Challenging Monocultural Constructs. In Knotoski, Nosek & Turk (Eds.) Women with Physical Disabilities. London:Paul Brookes Publishing.

O’Toole, C. & Brown, A. (2003) No Reflection in the Mirror: Challenges for Disabled Lesbians Accessing Mental Health Services. Journal of Lesbian Studies, Vol 7, No. 1, 35-49.
[co-indexed as: Mental Health Issues for Sexual Minority Women: Redefining Women’s Mental Health. (Ed. Tonda L. Hughes, Carrol Smith, and Alice Dan). Harrington Park Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press, Inc. 2003, pp. 35-49]

The Enemy Within, The Battle Without: Fighting for Accessible Services to Beat Breast Cancer, by Rachel Ross

Rogers, J., & Matsumura, M. (1991) Mother To Be: A Guide to Pregnancy and Birth for Women with Disabilities. New York: Demos Vermande

Ross, Rachel. (1999) The Enemy Within, The Battle Without: Fighting for Accessible Services to Beat Breast Cancer

SARDI. Substance Abuse and Students with Disabilities: Little Known Facts, [online booklet]. Substance Abuse Resources & Disability Issues (SARDI) [2001].


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Updated 3/26/2004