Blind parents in Illinois are guaranteed certain rights under new state guidelines.
Deborah Kent Stein is with the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. She says this will help clarify the protections already outlined under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, which says that a disability cannot be used as the only factor to determine parenting capabilities.
“There have been cases in Illinois and cases all over the country where parents who are blind have been—by our standards—targeted by lawyers and social service organizations, as being potentially unable to parent simply because they are blind," she said.
Stein says her organization will work closely with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to implement training and resources for child welfare investigators, case workers, and even parents.