ABSTRACT

Disabled people can experience significant barriers to accessing community services and universal and specialist services, including health and social care. Attitudes to disabled people as parents can be discouraging to those anticipating parenthood and can mean that social and impairment-related support needs are either not acknowledged or not appropriately responded to. Midwives working with disabled women and with women who have disabled partners need to have an understanding of the social context of disabled people’s lives; for parents, maternity services can be a key part of this social context. This chapter focuses on disability awareness and effective communication as fundamental in the delivery of care and support, in the context of legislative and organisational developments, which together seek to ensure equal access to services for all parents.