Empowering parents with disability

Did you know that there is currently little to no support for parents with disability? And that the number of parents with disability needing support is increasing?

Becoming a new parent is tough - sleepless nights and utter exhaustion, endless worry as you try your best to figure it all out.

But for many parents with disability it can also bring fear and judgement. It’s something that Lisa, parent with disability, is all too familiar with. She had a stroke when she was three which resulted in hemiplegia – paralysis down the right side of her body, a permanent clenched fist and a limp. It hasn’t stopped her from living a full and independent life. Yet when she fell pregnant, she was faced with questions about how she would support her child.

That’s where Yooralla’s Parenting with Disability program stepped in.

Yooralla’s Parenting with Disability program provides practical support for new parents with disability during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond so they feel empowered, confident and in control.

“I felt alone and unheard, like I had done something wrong by becoming pregnant. But Yooralla’s program gave me a voice. It helped me just be a mum.” - Lisa, Mum to Natalya

Your donation is urgently needed so we can help more parents like Lisa to care for their babies with confidence and greater independence.

Yooralla Occupational Therapist - Emeila Young
Yooralla Occupational Therapist - Emeila Young

Yooralla Occupational Therapist Emelia Young, coordinates the program. Emelia won the Minister’s Award for Outstanding Leadership at the 2018 Victorian Disability Awards for her work on the program.

The program means that parents with disability have the right equipment and support, so they can nurture and nourish their babies with greater confidence and more independence. Over the past five years we’ve helped 70 women and two men with physical, intellectual and mental health disabilities to become confident and independent parents.

Lisa (right) and Natayla playing in sandpit
Lisa (right) and Natayla playing in sandpit

The program begins with an assessment to determine any modified equipment they may need, such as a height adjustable bassinet to allow access from a wheelchair, or a one-hand-fold pram for mums with limited use of an upper limb. Then it moves to training on how best to use the equipment and techniques on how to bath, carry and care for a baby.

But our program is under pressure to meet the growing demand. Currently, we have 10 pregnant women with a disability waiting for our help – and the waiting list is growing!

Donations are urgently needed so we can continue to be there for parents with disability - some of whom are due to give birth in the next few months. Donate now.

Lisa says that our program empowered her to become a confident mum.

“I could feed my baby, hold her and soothe her, without needing anyone else. I felt our love and our bond grow, without needing the clinical approach that others would have imposed,” said Lisa.

Natalya (left) and her mum Lisa playing outside
Natalya (left) and her mum Lisa playing outside

Today Lisa is doing well. Her daughter Natalya is an energetic, happy four-year-old who doesn’t see her mum as any different. This is from Natalya:

“My favourite thing is playing with mum. I love playing hide and seek. I always win when we play tag. I love cooking together, especially eggs and bacon.”

To donate to support Yooralla’s Parenting with Disability program call 1800 666 010 or go to donate here.

There are a number of ways you can make a donation.


You can make a secure online credit card donation to Yooralla via our secure payment form.

By Phone

Call Yooralla's Fundraising team during office hours (9.00am - 5.00pm)
 on 1800 666 010 to make a credit card donation.

By Mail

Send a cheque or money order to:
Yooralla Fundraising
PO Box 238
Collins Street West
Melbourne VIC 8007

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