The Disability and Pregnancy Study


You may be able to be part of this study if:- You live in Ontario- You are 18 years old or older- You had a baby in the last 5 years- You have a physical, sensory, intellectual, and/or developmental disability (or a chronic condition that limits mobility, flexibility, dexterity, vision, sight, cognition - examples include spinal cord injury, brain injury, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, blindness/vision loss, autism, FASD)


About 1 in 10 women of reproductive age (15-44 years) has a disability and women with disabilities are becoming pregnant at increasing rates. Research has found that women with disabilities are at greater risk of experiencing pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum complications, and that they encounter barriers to pregnancy-related care, such as negative attitudes and inaccessible care settings. However, particularly in Canada, we know little about how women with disabilities experience pregnancy and what their pregnancy-related care experiences are like.

Our specific aims are to: (1) Explore the pregnancy experiences of people* with physical, sensory, and intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as experiences of health and social service providers (e.g., physicians, nurses, social workers) and policy-makers in providing pregnancy-related care in Ontario; and (2) Identify how this knowledge can be used to improve the health and health care experiences of people with disabilities during pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum period.

*This study is trans-inclusive; anyone who has experienced pregnancy and birth can participate.

How will this research help LGBT people and communities?

We know that not all people with disabilities identify as cisgender and heterosexual; as such, we hope to include LGBTQ people with disabilities in our study, to learn about how the intersection of disability and a queer and/or trans identity may shape pregnancy care experiences (e.g., are there unique barriers to perinatal care that LGBTQ people with disabilities encounter?). We hope to use the findings from this study to inform the development of programs and resources to better support people with disabilities during pregnancy, delivery, and the early postpartum period.


Participants will receive a $50 gift card (e.g., Walmart, Shopper

What mitigation measures are in place to reduce potential distress caused to participants as a result of being part of the research study?

The researchers have a safety protocol in place should a participant become upset during the interview or a participant discloses immediate harm to themselves or another person or discloses child abuse or neglect. Participants will be told before the interview that they are not required to answer any question that makes them feel uncomfortable or otherwise do not want to answer (they can just say skip), and that they can take breaks whenever they like (the interview can also be done over 2 sessions). Interviews can be done in-person at a location of the participant

When do you anticipate that this study's findings will be available?



Name: Lesley Tarasoff




Hilary Brown

Funded By

National Institutes of Health



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