The Challenges and Rewards of Parenthood: Experiences of Disabled Parents in Israel


  • Carolyn Gutman



parenting, supported parenting, adult disability, vision impairment, Israel


Research about disabled adults has tended to focus on the employment role as holding the promise for full integration. Moreover, when the discourse has addressed familial roles such as parenting, the extant literature has been grounded in a medical model of disability and highlights the perceived incompetence of disabled parents and their parenting practices. This article presents an overview of research about people with disabilities in their parenting role. It then addresses the cultural meaning of parenthood within the unique socio-political context that exists in Israel and reports on the major findings of a qualitative study that explored the parenting experiences of people with vision impairment. Important themes that resonated throughout the study interviews include the discriminatory attitudes and practices that these parents faced while navigating the parenting role as well as issues of independence and autonomy. These findings are discussed against a socio-political backdrop of disability that characterizes contemporary Israeli society.






Special Topic: The State of Disability in Israel/Palestine