(July 25, 2014) NCD Congressional Forum: “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children”

Save the Date!


“Rocking the Cradle:
Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children”

Friday, July 25, 2014

9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-318

(Accessible Entrance: Main entrance, horseshoe drive off South Capitol Street)

On Friday, July 25, 2014, the National Council on Disability (NCD), utilizing its statutory authority to receive testimony (Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 780 et seq.)), will convene a congressional forum on the status of parents with disabilities and their families (see NCD's 2012 Rocking the Cradle report on the topic). Through the invited testimony four panels of witnesses, comprised of representatives from federal agencies; policy and practice experts; parents; and state legislators; as well as the questions asked of the witnesses by the NCD Council Members, the forum will seek to highlight what barriers people with disabilities are facing in creating and maintaining strong families and establish what policy measures are either underway or are needed to address the persistent barriers experienced by people with disabilities when attempting to exercise their fundamental and cherished right to parent.


To date, the following individuals are confirmed to provide testimony:

PANEL 1: The Role of Federal Agencies

PANEL 2: Research, Policy, and Practice

  • Ella Callow, Legal Program Director, The National Center for Parents with Disabilities and Their Families, Through the Looking Glass (DOC)
  • Traci LaLiberte, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota (DOC)
  • Irene W. Leigh, Ph.D., Professor, Gallaudet University Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program and chair of the Department of Psychology; Member, American Psychological Association (DOC)

PANEL 3: Parents with Disabilities and Their Families

  • Donna and Ricardo Thornton, Washington, DC (DOC)
  • Julie Petty, Project Trainer, Partners for Inclusive Communities, University of Arkansas (DOC)
  • Michael Bullis, Executive Director, Independent Marylanders Achieving Growth Through Empowerment, Inc. (The IMAGE Center) (DOC)
  • Lindsay Baran, Disability and Aging Specialist, National Council on Independent Living (DOC)

PANEL 4: State Legislative Action

  • Robbi Barrutia, Executive Director, Idaho State Independent Living Council; Former Senator, Idaho State Senate (1996-2002); Former Representative, Idaho State House of Representatives (1992-1996) (DOC)
  • Paul Heroux, Representative, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (DOC)

This event will be open to the public. All interested parties are encouraged to attend.

NCD will hold open its record for written testimony from interested members of the public for a period of two weeks following the event. Written testimony should be limited to five pages, double-spaced, and should include name, organizational affiliation, and contact information. All written testimony should be sent to Anne Sommers at ASommers@ncd.gov no later than close of business, August  8, 2014.

The National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on policies, programs, practices and procedures affecting people with disabilities. NCD works to further the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990: equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for all people with disabilities.


National Council on Disability • 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850 • Washington, DC 20004