February 01, 2015

Accommodations for Parents with Disabilities

The views expressed herein have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, and accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.

Advocates can request the following modifications and accommodations for parents with disabilities:

  • Increase the frequency or length of service provision. 

  • Ensure the service provider has experience working with parents and the specific disability at issue in the case.

  • Provide services at a parent’s home or alternate accessible site. If the parent uses a wheelchair, make sure the parent can enter the location where the service is provided.

  • Give the parent frequent reminders for services. 

  • Provide accessible transportation to services.

  • Provide information about services in an accessible format (large print, audio tape, braille, digital format).

  • Offer note taking of meetings and court activities, especially for parents who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • Provide assistance with reading materials and interpreters if needed.

  • Provide day care and respite care services, particularly for parents with psychiatric disabilities who may need to be hospitalized for medication changes. 

  • Provide foster family or informal support networks (churches, family helper or child care assistant, aide or personal assistant).

  • Arrange housekeeping services. 

  • Arrange adaptive equipment (ramps, lowered counters, adapted doorknobs).