Disabled Parents

There is lots of support for disabled parents.  These links should help with planning and organising.  Helping you find strategies and solutions to disability-related obstacles and the chance to learn and gain insight and inspiration from others.  Also, look through the Disability blogs, as some are parents with disabilities.

Disabled Parent https://www.disabledparent.org.uk/ offers practical information and support and includes the ability to search by type of disability issue and age stage of baby/child for disabled parents, again, the UK based part of Disabled Pregnancy and Parenthood International.  The website has lots of online publications to help with disability and parentingsuch as guides to parenting and pregnancy if you have a physical disability, if you are in a wheelchair, if you have a visual impairment, if you are deaf, if you are supporting learning disabilities.  It also has guides on topics, such as bathing a baby and selecting a cot.  The publications can be downloaded from the website in pdf format for £6 each.  https://www.disabledparent.org.uk/publications  

Best Beginnings.  https://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/parents-with-disabilities.  A website that includes information specifically for disabled parents in the UK. They have an easy to use app for parenting the first 6 months to a year, with 300 video clips to help parenting, help with appointments, diary, goal setting. Very easy information and useful for everyone, including learning disabilities and every one developed by professionals.  https://youtube/1DuIk_3gras  

Oxford Centre for Enablement offers specialist disability support focused on disability and rehabilitation, including help for pregnant and disabled parents and you can get a referral from your GP.  It covers OxfordshireBuckinghamshireBerkshireHampshire, Isle of Wight and Dorset. They have an information leaflet here.  https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/33109baby.pdf

Disabled Positive Parent blog:They review High Street products that help when you have a disability, such as cots, walking wings, bath and changing and more, useful looks at products and concerns parents who have physical disabilities may have.  A UK based blog.  http://disabledpositiveparent.blogspot.com/2012/08/yet-more-useful-baby-products-on-high.html

The MobilityResource.  Tiffany Carlson, the SCI Life columnist for New Mobility magazine, provides a list of useful products to help parents with disabilities.  https://www.themobilityresource.com/blog/post/10-amazing-products-for-parents-with-disabilities/

Remap provided specialised tailor-made equipment to solve disability practical issues to enable independence and participation.  They can make disability solutions to help disabled parents www.remap.org.uk.  In this short clip from Remap Bucks, they show how they custom made a wheelchair tailor transporter for twins  

Demand.  A charity that will provide free tailored equipment to solve practical problems resulting from disability, when a solution is hard to find, see www.demand.org.uk

Designability is a Charity made up of engineers and product designers to help people with disabilities find a product solution to a day to day problem.  The individual identifies the problem they research and make a solution to increase independence and this could, like with Remap and Demand, be a parenting product issue.  https://designability.org.uk/about-us/our-mission/

BBC Radio 4.  Assisted Contraception and Disability Inside the Ethics Committee.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b037vb3f.  A programme that discusses ethical issues and welfare of the child when there are complex issues, such as disability/mental health etc.  In this episode, Rosemary, who is 36 and has Ehlers Donlos Syndrome, a connective tissue physical disability that means she uses a wheelchair.  She also has spine and breathing issues and a mental health history.  She is in a new relationship but wants IVF now.

Family Action provide lots of family and parenting support, advice, grants, Early Years, children and family help, including counselling and wellbeing support and do also work with parents that have disabilities.  www.family-action.co.uk

Scope’s Disabled Parents Blog.  https://blog.scope.org.uk/tag/disabled-parent/

Disabled Parents Net.  Lots of information for parents with disabilities.  http://www.disabledparents.net/

Attitude Live is a huge database of videos about living with different disabilities or chronic conditions focused on showing how to be independent.  They have a parenting and fertility page to help those with disabilities looking to be or already parents and look for ideas.  https://attitudelive.com/how-to/parenting-fertility/

Deaf Parentingwebsite for deaf parents UK.  http://www.deafparent.org.uk/ 

A US Site, called the Disabled Parenting Project that is part of the National Research Centre  for parents with disabilities.  It includes parents with lots of different types of disabilities and also covers adopting when you have a disability.  https://www.disabledparenting.com/

Able Thrive, the American site, has a large area on different aspects of pregnancy and parenting with a disability.  https://ablethrive.com/parenting 

Gingerbread is the UK charity for single parent families and has a section for single parents who have a disability.  The information includes parenting with a disability, emotional support, your rights, benefits and independent living, covering topics like social care and direct payments, an online forum, blogs and details of friendship groups.  https://www.gingerbread.org.uk/information/disabled-single-parents/   

Grants for Disabled Parents.  https://www.disability-grants.org/grants-for-disabled-parents.html

Sure Start Maternity Grant.  Some people on a low income who claim certain benefits, such as Working Tax Credit, with a disability element, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Income-based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support Employment and Support Allowance and Pension Credit, all qualify for a Sure Start Maternity Grant towards the end of their pregnancy, or when they have a newborn.  This is to help with parenting costs and equipment and is a grant you do not have to pay back worth £500.  https://www.gov.uk/sure-start-maternity-grant

Royal College of Nursing, Pregnancy and Disability aimed at Nurses and Midwives, as well as other professionals, but has lots of really useful real life case studies of different disabilities, lots of good practice examples and strategies.  It also discusses important areas, like adult social care referrals.  https://www.choiceforum.org

Working Together with Parents Network, Bristol University,for people with learning disabilities.  http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/wtpn/.  Working with professionals, working with people with learning difficulties.

Easy Read Pregnancy and Newborn Baby, NHS Wales leaflets include understanding ultra sounds, screening for different conditions, like Down’s Syndrome, understanding breastfeeding and baby hearing tests.  https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/easyreads/articlelist/Pregnancy%20and%20Newborns

Health Talk Learning Disability and Pregnancy Lived Experience Easy Read.  http://www.healthtalk.org/peoples-experiences/pregnancy-children/pregnancy/learning-disability-and-pregnancy-easy-read

Sheffield Teaching Hospital, NHS Easy Read, Sterilising Baby Equipment.  https://publicdocuments.sth.nhs.uk/pil3184.pdf

Easy Read NHS Guide on Understanding the Role of Health Visitorswho provide support from the end of pregnancy until five years old, to help you with your baby’s and child’s wellbeing and health.  https://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/CNWL_Hillingdon_Health_Visiting_leaflet_easy_read.pdf

Leicester University and Joseph Roundtree Foundation Project Research Best Practices in Supporting Disabled Parents.  http://www.familyandparenting.org

RNIB resources for Blind and partially sighted parents.  https://www.rnib.org.uk/information-everyday-living-family-friends-and-carers/resources-blind-or-partially-sighted-parents

Blind Motherhood is a blog and online resource created by Holly, a blind mother and Social Worker from New York.  She has lots of resources and they are not just about parenting, many are about life blind.  https://blindmotherhood.com/the-mission/

Blind Mum’s Connect is a organisation and support group for blind, and partially-sighted Mums have meet-ups in person throughout the UK and also Skye meet-ups.  http://www.blindmumsconnect.org.uk/about-us/ 

Access to Books offers brail and large print books, including Early Years books.  http://access2books.com/early-learning-braille-14/

Change Parenting Projects for people with learning disabilities, easy read parenting books.  https://www.changepeople.org/our-work/parenting-projects

Netmums Forum for Mums who have a disability to discuss issues, the site is there to help parents and parents to be.  https://www.netmums.com/coffeehouse/special-needs-disabilities-1194/parents-disabilities-779/

Raising Children.net.  Australian parenting site with lots of parenting videos for all and personal experiences.  Also has lots of Parenting in pictures guides with step by step pictures for everyday parenting tasks covers pregnancy to teenage years.  Recommend by Social Workers.  https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/parenting-in-pictures 

Wheelie Momma is a blog and website by Sarah Griffiths who has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair.  Sarah is a blogger, writer, coach and motivational speaker.  She blogs about parenting in a wheelchair and has written a young children's story related to being a disabled parent, called 'My Mum's a Superhero'.  https://wheeliemomma.co.uk/ 

Department of Health, Easy Read, Having a Baby.   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/520211/choice-Leaflet_5.pdf

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Easy Read, Maternity, Staying Healthy in Pregnancy.  https://publicdocuments.sth.nhs.uk/pil3187.pdf

NHS Leeds, Easy Read, My Birth Plan.  http://flipbooks.leedsth.nhs.uk/LN004582.pdf

Public Health England Screening for Problems with Your Baby's Body.  An Easy Read guide to tests during pregnancy to check your baby's health.  A guide for people with learning disabilities.  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/722182/Screening_tests_for_you_and_your_baby_easy_guide_mid_pregnancy_scan_section.pdf

Sheffield Teaching Hospital’s, NHS, Easy Read Guide to Pain Relief in Labour, Maternity Services.  https://publicdocuments.sth.nhs.uk/pil3192.pdf

NHS Pregnancy Book. Not Disability focused, but a general useful resource.  https://www.stgeorges.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Pregnancy_Book_comp.pdf

Epilepsy Action.  Mothers in Mind. Epilepsy and Pregnancy.  https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/involved/campaigns/women/mothers

Mental Health and Pregnancy

NHS Mental Health Problems in Pregnancy.  Baby and Pregnancy Guide.  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/mental-health-problems-pregnant/

Tommy’s provide case studies of pregnancy and experiences of mental health.  It includes Postnatal depression, Anxiety, OCD, Bipolar, IVF experiences and more.  https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/mental-wellbeing/your-stories-about-mental-health-pregnancy?page=1

Mind, the Mental Health Charity have produced a video of parents who have a mental health condition, talking about their parenting experiences and how they manage.


Association of Postnatal Illness. A charity run by parents who have had postnatal depression following the birth and have overcome these challenges, for those who experience difficulties, run by volunteers and offers text online and telephone support.  https://apni.org

Action for Postpartum Psychosis Mental Health Condition 

A Charity that has lots of information including personal experience accounts, insider guides, peer support networks, information on units for mothers with the condition and their babies, resources for partners, books, projects and workshops, information on topics like Bipolar and Postpartum Psychosis and support groups for women experiencing Postpartum Psychosis, a serious mental health problem involving psychosis (delusion and hallucinations so loss of reality following childbirth).  https://www.app-network.org/about-us/

Disabled Women’s Guide to Pregnancy and Birth is an American book written by a woman with a physical disability.  From first-hand experiences as a mother, she works for Through the Looking Glass, an American not-for-profit Charity that supports pregnancy and disability.  She is a pregnancy specialist and has documented people;s experiences of pregnancy with a disability by interviews but with an American focus.  Here, you will find details of the book with some sample pages.  http://www.demoshealth.com/media/samplechapters/9781932603088/9781932603088_chapter.pdf 

Articles about parenting with a disability:

Disability and Parenting.  Top disability products for Disabled Mums from Disability Horizons.  http://disabilityhorizons.com/2018/05/disability-and-parenting-top-baby-products-for-disabled-mums/

Accepting Disability and Becoming a Disabled Mum from Disability Horizons.  http://disabilityhorizons.com/2017/10/accepting-disability-and-becoming-a-disabled-parent/

Aspire.  Planning a Family and Being a Parent following Spinal Cord Injury.  https://www.aspire.org.uk/blog/having-children-following-a-spinal-cord-injury

The following are links to articles explaining what it is like from the perspective of individuals being reported to have Autism and being a parent:

Guardian Mothers with Autism


Very Well Health Autistic Adults as Parents


Autism Support Network. Being a Parent and Being on the Autism Spectrum


Autism Speaks


University Study

Autistic Women and Pregnancy Project, University of Cambridge.  https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/autistic-mothers

Parenting with a Disability YouTube videos

This YouTube video explains how personal budgets and direct payments are helping disabled parents to stay organised and get support to manage the care of their children. 

Awkward Disability Questions and Family Planning Cerebral Palsy Foundation 

When you have any disability, it can be hard to get all the answers to questions you may have, but you need to plan for future and this video explains about how most people with Cerebral Palsy can have their own children, but that attitudes and assumptions can cause obstacles and problems growing up.  If this video interests you, also check out the parenting section of this site. 

This YouTube video, ‘Parenting Against the Odds’, by Joy Ross explains parenting blind. 

CNN Parenting with a Disability: a look at Jennifer's story who suffered a spinal cord injury, pregnant, and is now in a wheelchair and the need to be creatively finding solutions. 

Born Different video of two parents who are both disabled and their parenting story. 

Disabled Parents and Personal Assistance (if needed) using direct payments.

This Being a Parentvideo looks at the experiences of adults with learning disabilities and how they manage with being parents.