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Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175, firstname.lastname@example.org
UCP RESPONDS TO NEW REPORT ON RIGHTS OF PARENTS WITH DISABILITIES
National Council on Disability’s report highlights vulnerabilities, flaws in current system
Washington, DC (October 5, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) issued the following statement today in response to the National Council on Disability (NCD)’s new report, “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children.”
NCD’s report examines the challenges faced by the more than 4 million parents living with disabilities in raising their families. The report identifies parents with disabilities as the “only distinct community of Americans who must struggle to retain custody of their children,” and that removal rates run as high as 80 percent among parents with a psychiatric or intellectual disability. The report details the hardships faced by parents struggling to keep their children, adopt children, or even accessing reproductive assistance and makes recommendations for how to both states and the federal government can address each.
Specifically, the NCD report recommends Congress pass legislation similar to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978, which was enacted to help keep American Indian children with their families, and would help to protect the rights of parents with disabilities and their families. Alternatively, the NCD suggests an amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws relating to child welfare, custody, adopted and reproductive technologies.
“This report highlights an awful truth: parents with disabilities are facing tremendous challenges and discrimination as they try to raise their families. The situation is appalling, and action needs to be taken,” said Stephen Bennett, President & CEO of UCP. “We commend the National Council on Disability for this report and for their efforts to bring this unfair and unjust treatment to an end. UCP looks forward to working together with NCD and other organizations to transform our laws and ensure that the rights of all American families are protected.”
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About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.