I Like Being a Mom with a Disability

In this video, Jessica Salmond, a mother with an intellectual disability, describes the ways she supports her children as a parent and activist.

From the video: “And I like being a mom with a disability because I’m able to help my children with their disabilities. So, I’m able to be at their IEP meetings and understand what the IEP is about, be able to suggest different programs or different organizations. I’m also able to speak out on behalf of their disabilities and tell people what their limits are, what they can do. I also sit on disability boards to speak out on mental health and people with disabilities and children with disabilities.”

[Note: Jessica uses the term “retardation” to describe herself. Formerly a diagnostic label, this word is now widely considered a slur. The inclusive term most widely used today is “intellectual disability.” For more info on updated language, see our Inclusive Language Guide with the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy.]

Below is a transcript of what Jessica is saying in the video:

Hello everyone, my name is Jessica Salmond and I’m a mom with a disability, and my disability is mild retardation [see note] and depression. I have 7 beautiful children, they all have disabilities. And I like being a mom with a disability because I’m able to help my children with their disabilities. So, I’m able to be at their IEP meetings and understand what the IEP is about, be able to suggest different programs or different organizations. I’m also able to speak out on behalf of their disabilities and tell people what their limits are, what they can do. I also sit on disability boards to speak out on mental health and people with disabilities and children with disabilities. I also go down to Annapolis to tell them: do not cut the disability funding or mental health funding on behalf of children. Also, parents call me when it’s their IEP or their 504 plan, when they have meetings, to advocate or go with them on behalf of their child so that I can speak up about their child or what they want. Again, my name is Jessica Salmond. It was nice talking to you guys, have an excellent day.

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