Disabled Women on the Web

Disabled Women on the Web

Mothers with Disabilities


Michele Wates

Michele Wates is a pivotal linchpin in the U.K. disabled parenting movement. Fighting social structures that perceive children of disabled parents as “overburdened carers”, a national movement has been created (Disabled Parents Network). Michele has often been both the chronicler of this movement as well as it’s “insider” researcher.

Wates, M., & Jade, R. (1999). Bigger Than the Sky: Disabled Women on Parenting. London: The Women's Press Ltd.

Wates, M. (1997). Disabled Parents: Dispelling the Myths. Cambridge, UK: National Childbirth Trust.

Wates, M. (2002). Supporting Disabled Adults in their Parenting Role. London, UK: Joseph Roundtree Foundation.

Megan Kirshbaum & Judi Rogers

Through the Looking Glass, Berkeley, California
It is impossible to understate the significance of Through the Looking Glass’ (TLG) work on parenting with a disability. Begun by Megan Kirshbaum and her disabled husband, Hal, TLG brings a disability culture perspective to parenting. This has completely challenged (and often changed) institutional structures and perspectives on parents with disabilities. Whether TLG is giving court testimony on the effective parenting strategies of a mother with a disability or researching disabled parent norm of babycare, the work is well-researched and documented.

Kirshbaum, M: Family context and disability culture reframing: Through the looking glass. The Family Psychologist 10(Fall):8-12 ,1994.

Through the Looking Glass: Developing Adaptive Equipment and Adaptive Techniques for Physically Disabled Parents and their Babies within the Context of Psychosocial Services. Berkeley, CA: Through the Looking Glass, 1995.

Rogers, J., & Matsumura, M. (1991) Mother To Be: A Guide to Pregnancy and Birth for Women with Disabilities. New York: Demos Vermande [note: new edition is at the publisher’s]


Kirshbaum M (1995) Serving families with disability issues: Through the looking glass. Marriage and Family Review 21(Winter 1/2):9-28,1995.

Kirshbaum M, Rinne, Girl (1985) Parents with physical disabilities. In Maternity Nursing: Dimensions of Change, M Enriquez, M Auvenshine (eds). Wadsworth Press:645-669, 1985

Kirshbaum M (1988) Parents with physical disabilities and their babies. Zero to Three 8 (5) : 8-15,1988, June.

Toms Barker, L., & Maralani, V. (1997). Challenges and Strategies of Disabled Parents: Findings from a National Survey of Parents with Disabilities. Berkeley, CA: Through the Looking Glass.


Center for Rights of Parents with Disabilities

Disabled Adoptive Parents

“Advocating for disability rights... We will not be silenced!
MFH2 is a national group of parents, relatives, friends, and anyone who just plain 'gets it' fighting chipped tooth and broken press-on nail for the appropriate education, community acceptance, desperately needed services, rights of and entitlements for individuals with disabilities. (Hey, we're moms, we can rattle off really long sentences like that without stopping!) MFH2 offers more support than a 44DD underwire and more empowerment than a tanker full of caffeine, chocolate & Viagra! Mothers From Hell - Our name was something that was bestowed upon us for daring to stand up for our kids, rather than a philosophy we have chosen.”

O'Toole,C.J. (2002) Report on International Conference on Parents with Disabilities & Their Families. Disability World, Issue no. 16 November-December

Parents with Disabilities OnLine


Artemis, R., & Maxwell, J. (1995). Lesbian and Bisexual Mothers. In D. W. s. N. Ontario (Ed.), Women with Disabilities and Mothering: Sharing our stories, exploring our options. Geneva Park, Ontario, Canada.

Berman-Bieler, Rosangela (1997, Fall 1997). The right to maternity. One in Ten, 17, 8-10.

Blakford, K. (1993) Erasing Mothers with Disabilities through Canadian family-related Policy. Disability, Handicap and Society, Vol.8, No.3.

D'aoust, V. (1999). Complications: The Deaf community, disability and being a lesbian mom - A conversation with myself. Restricted Access: Lesbians on Disability. V. Brownworth and S. Raffo. Seattle, Seal Press.

Kent, D. (2002). Beyond Expectations: Being Blind and Becoming a Mother. Sexuality and Disability, 20(1).

Kirshbaum, M: A disability culture perspective on early intervention with parents with physical or cognitive disabilities and their babies. Infant and Young Children, 13(2), 2000

Llewellyn, G. (2002) Sharing the Care of Children: Mothers with Intellectual Disabilities, Keynote, Second International Conference on Parents with Disabilities, Oakland, California, May 3, 2002.

Llewellyn, G. (1995) Relationships and social support: Views of parents with mental retardation/intellectual disability. Mental Retardation, 33(6): 349-363, 1995

O’Toole, C.J. (2002) Sex, disability and motherhood: Access to sexuality for disabled mothers. Disability Studies Quarterly, Fall 2002, 22(4), 81-101.

O'Toole, C. J., & D'aoust, V. (2000). Fit for Motherhood: Towards a Recognition of Multiplicity in Disabled Lesbian Mothers. Disability Studies Quarterly, 20(2), 145-154.

O’Toole, C.J., Doe, T. (2002) Sexuality and Disabled Parents with Disabled Children. Sexuality and Disability. Spring 2002, 20(1), 89-102.

Sherer Jacobson, D. (1999). The Question of David. Berkeley: Creative Arts Book Company.


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Updated 3/26/2004