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NCD Testifies on Behalf of Parents with Disabilities

April 2014 – Robyn Powell, Attorney Advisor for the National Council on Disability (NCD), testified before the Massachusetts legislature concerning the rights of parents with disabilities. The legislature met regarding Massachusetts House Bill 1379 which “seeks to prohibit discrimination against parents with disabilities in family and juvenile court proceedings.”- In her testimony, Powell addressed the history of discrimination towards parents with disabilities, biases and lack of accommodations toward these individuals when pursuing assistance through the Child Welfare System and the family court system.  Specifically, Powell cites the 2012 NCD report entitled, Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children, as a key policy study.  This NCD report provides specific case studies of parents and future parents with disabilities in situations including “family law and dependency proceedings, adoption, and access to assistive reproductive technology.” With regard to the Massachusetts House Bill 1379, Powell stated, “NCD encourages the legislature to pass legislation ensuring the rights of prospective parents with disabilities to access adoption and assistive reproductive technologies, as well, in accordance with the model legislation in the Rocking Cradle report.”

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