Summer Forum – Dr. Megan Kirshbaum – “Parents and Grandparents w/ Disabilities”
9:30 am - 10:45 am
Click this LINK to join the Zoom session at 9:20 a.m. to participate in this wonderful talk at 9:30 a.m.
Please join this insightful and deep discussion on Parents and Grandparents with Disabilities led by Dr. Megan Kirshbaum.
UUCB Member, Megan Kirshbaum, Ph.D. is Founder and Executive Director of Berkeley’s “Through the Looking Glass,” In 1982, with the support of her husband, Hal Kirshbaum, she founded Through the Looking Glass (TLG) to develop model services for infants, children and parents with disabilities and their families. The goal was to (1) bring a disability culture perspective to early preventive intervention with families with disability/medical issues in infant/child or parent; and (2) to bring awareness about families and parenthood to the independent living community.
Through the Looking Glass, has received extensive local, national and international media coverage including Eye on America, Prime Time Live, BBC, NPR, Washington Post, Parenting Magazine, S.F. Chronicle, Telemundo, MBC (South Korean television network).
Megan has substantially contributed to the National Council on Disability’s groundbreaking policy study “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children. ”
The report was submitted to President Obama and Congress.
Megan and Hal first set up Through the Looking Glass in a converted garage in the backyard of our Berkeley home. “The cabin” – as it’s fondly known among their staff– has two small rooms joined by a bathroom.
During the early years of TLG’s services, parents with disabilities reported many problems with bias and pathologizing by professionals. Megan and Hal discovered that attitudinal problems were also reflected in research and writing about parents with disabilities and their children. They became interested in doing family research from the perspective of the disability community.
From the beginning they emphasized a “non-pathological” perspective in both clinical services and research. Rather than emphasizing deficits in individuals with disabilities and their families we emphasized lessening the deficits in society that create obstacles in the lives of our families. TLG’s research has therefore particularly documented the strengths of parents with disabilities and their families, the environmental/social obstacles faced, and the impact of disability appropriate parenting resources, such as baby care adaptive equipment for parents with physical disabilities, or adaptations in intervention for parents with cognitive disabilities.