[Nfbnet-members-list] National Federation of the Blind Applauds Government Guidance on the Rights of Parents with Disabilities

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Tue Aug 11 16:34:44 UTC 2015





Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

 <mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org> cdanielsen at nfb.org


National Federation of the Blind Applauds Government Guidance on the Rights
of Parents with Disabilities


Baltimore, Maryland (August 11, 2015): The National Federation of the Blind
<https://nfb.org/>  (NFB), the nation's leading advocate for the rights of
blind parents and their children, applauds the new technical assistance
document Protecting the Rights of Parents and Prospective Parents with
Disabilities <http://www.ada.gov/doj_hhs_ta/child_welfare_ta.html> ,
recently issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office
for Civil Rights Administration for Children and Families, and the United
States Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights
Section. The document is the first being issued under a new partnership
<http://www.ada.gov/doj_hhs_ta/child_welfare_ltr.html>  between DOJ and HHS
to advise state child welfare agencies on their obligations to avoid and
prevent discrimination in the provision of services.


Mark A. Riccobono <https://nfb.org/mark-riccobono-bio> , President of the
National Federation of the Blind
<https://www.facebook.com/NationalFederationoftheBlind> , said: "Many blind
parents have experienced the waking nightmare of being placed under
investigation or having their children taken from them by state child
welfare agencies or courts, solely on the basis of blindness, without any
specific evidence of abuse, neglect, or other dangers to the children. The
National Federation of the Blind has represented many such parents; indeed,
some of our cases are ongoing. Other blind parents, like my wife Melissa and
I, know that such an ordeal is only a misguided intervention away, be it by
a health care professional after a routine childhood mishap or just a
next-door neighbor unfamiliar with the techniques that we use to raise our
children. Inappropriate interventions like this not only discriminate
against disabled parents and harm their children, but instill fear in the
hearts of other parents with disabilities, making them less likely to
utilize state resources that may help their families. This guidance makes
clear that, in order to comply with federal law, decisions affecting blind
parents or other parents with disabilities must be based on individualized
determinations supported by objective evidence, not generalizations,
stereotypes, or misconceptions about people with disabilities. The guidance
further makes clear that services such as parenting classes provided by
child welfare agencies must be equally available, with reasonable
modifications if necessary, to parents with disabilities. The National
Federation of the Blind wholeheartedly applauds this wise and much-needed
guidance. Our organization is ready and willing to provide training on the
techniques blind parents and grandparents use to fulfill their
responsibilities without vision and to work with blind parents-to-be in
using those skills and techniques. We invite state agencies, courts, and
other entities involved in protecting America's children to work closely
with us to create understanding and eliminate discrimination."


For more information about how blind parents successfully care for their
children every day, watch  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD1PWeSDlMQ>
this video produced by the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, or
read the NFB brochure
houtsight.html> Parenting Without Sight.






About the National Federation of the Blind


The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back.




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