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Summer 2012: TLG Legal Program News

Policy and Research: On the national front, the National Council on Disability policy paper entitled “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and their Families” is completed and expected to be presented to Congress in August of 2012. Legal Program Director Ella Callow, and Through the Looking Glass Executive Director Dr. Megan Kirshbaum contributed significantly to this state-of-the-nation compendium on parenting rights and people with disabilities. Internationally, Callow is traveling to Halifax, Nova Scotia for the World Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability. There she will participate in the finalizing of two papers, one addressing the status of parents with intellectual disabilities in various nations, and a second paper addressing the status of deinstitutionalization in various nations.

Academia: The Texas Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has published an article by Callow, NCIL ED Kelly Buckland, and Kansas SILCK ED Shannon Jones, on the topic of parents with disabilities involved in child custody/child welfare cases. The article is entitled “Parents with Disabilities in the United States: Prevalence, Perspecitives, and a Proposal for Legislative Change to Protect the Right to Family in the Disability Community,” and can be found in the Fall 2011 edition of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. Subsequent to presenting on the intersection of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Indian Child Welfare Act at the 2012 UC Berkeley Disability Rights Symposium, Callow was invited to publish a piece on this issue with Clearinghouse Review, the journal of the Sergeant Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Publication is expected in January 2013.

New Media: The Legal Program has passed 100 followers on Twitter. Sign up to receive national and international tweets concerning parents with disabilities and legal and policy stories around disability generally (@PWDLegal). The new Legal Program website launched in November 2011 and has greatly increased contacts to the program for technical assistance in individual cases. Go to the website to read Callow’s article on a family law custody case involving parental disability. Titled “The Battle for the Rattle: A Soldier Mom’s Story,” the piece was co-authored with the subject parent, Kaney O’Neil.