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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Organizers Forum: Parents with Disabilities

  • Tuesday, May 17; 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern
  • Call-in: 1 (712) 832-8310
  • Passcode: 125175#
  • RSVP online

On this call, we’ll talk about how people with disabilities are facing discrimination in the right to parent their children, or even to access reproductive healthcare to allow them to become a parent in the first place. In 32 states you can lose custody of your child solely on the basis of disability. The Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services have issued guidance requiring states to take the ADA into account and legislative efforts on the state level are taking place around the country to add further support.

This call will educate participants on both the problem and potential solutions. The speakers will discuss how different parts of the disability community are being impacted and how we can organize to ensure the protection of these rights for all. 


  • Rebecca Cokley, Executive Director of the National Council on Disability and mom to Jackson (5) and Kaya (2)
  • Melissa Riccobono, Representative, National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Blind Parent Initiative, and a blind mother of three children
  • Kara Ayers, co-founder of the Disabled Parenting Project, Associate Director of UC UCEDD, and a proud mother of two
  • Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), father of a son who is headed off to college in the fall
  • Patrick Cokley, Disability Policy Engagement Manager for Anthem, previously at the Department of Labor, manages the Lead On update and parent of two kids, Jackson and Kaya

Thank you to the National Disability Leadership Alliance for sponsoring the captioning of this call. If you need additional accommodations to participate in the call, please let us know as soon as possible.

  • CART:
  • Username: forum
  • Password: forum
  • To ask questions via CART: sign-in to the chat function on the right side of the transcript and type your question. One of the call facilitators will read out any questions posted there.
  • Because we want to maximize the generously donated CART services, we will begin the call promptly at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Mark your calendars! The Organizer’s Forum has a call on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

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