Marjorie Aunos, Ph.D. is 2021 Inspirational Speaker of the Year, Author, Disability Advocate, Internationally Renowned Researcher and Psychologist. She is the Chair of the Parenting and Parents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Group (SIRG) of IASSIDD. She worked as a clinical psychologist and developed the first program offering support for families headed by parents with intellectual disabilities in the province of Quebec, Canada. In 2012, while at the peak of her career in Parenting and Disability, she sustained a Spinal Cord Injury in a car accident. Mother to a 16-months old at the time, the accident and subsequent injury gave her an interesting perspective on parenting. Marjorie believes that focusing on our strengths of character can lead to living a fulfilling life. With her family she learned to be a solution-finder to make her world more accessible.

Key Research Publications

  • Feldman, M. & Aunos, M. (2010). Comprehensive Competence-Based Parenting Assessment for Parents with Learning difficulties and Their Children, 170 pages. NADD Press. (link to author page)

  • Feldman, M., & Aunos, M. (2020). Recent trends and future directions in research regarding parents with intellectual and development disabilities. In J. Cairney, R. Condillac & P. B. Riosa (Eds), Current Developmental Disorders Reports, 7 pages. Springer: Philadelphia, USA. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40474-020-00204-y (invited).

  • Aunos, M., Hodes, M., Llewellyn, G., Spencer, M., Pacheco, L., Jareslàtt, G., Tarleton, B., Springer, L., & Höglund, B. (2020). Chapter 14: The choice of becoming a parent. In R. J. Stancliffe, M. L. Wehmeyer, K. A. Shogren, & B. H. Abery (Eds), Choice, Preference, and Disability: An International Perspective. Springer Publishing.

Key Peer-reviewed Publications:

  • Aunos, M., Spencer, M., Pacheco, L., & Pituch, E. (Submitted). This changed everything: a critical reflection on the impact internalised ableist constructs had on becoming a disabled mother. Societies.

  • McConnell, D., Aunos, M., Pacheco, L., & Feldman, M. (2020). Child maltreatment investigations in Canada: Main and moderating effects of primary caregiver cognitive impairment. Child Maltreatment. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077559520910806

  • Aunos, M., & Pacheco, L. (2020). Able or unable: how do professionals determine the parenting capacity of mothers with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Public Child Welfare. https://doi.org/10.1080/15548732.2020.172992

  • Aunos, M., & Pacheco, L. (2013). Changing perspectives via collaborative framework: parents with intellectual disabilities and their families. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 7, 658-674. https://doi.org/10.1080/15548732.2013.852153

  • Feldman, M., McConnell, D. & Aunos, M. (2012). Parental Cognitive Impairment, mental health and child outcomes in child protection population. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disability, 5, 66-90. doi: 10.1080/19315864.2011.587632

  • Aunos, M., Feldman, M. & Goupil, G. (2008). Children of mothers with intellectual disabilities: a link between home environment, parenting abilities and children’s behaviors. Journal on Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 21, 320-330.

Keynotes in the field of Parenting:

  • Aunos, M. (Upcoming, May 3rd 2022). Parenting with a disability: What we know in research and how it feels in real life. Virtual Conference, Uppsala, Sweden.

  • Aunos, M., Pacheco, L., & Spencer, M. (2020). Keynote: Complex needs or complex circumstances? The life situations of parents with intellectual and development disabilities. 2nd Virtual (online) Disability Conference. http://virtualdisability.conferenceworks.com.au/

  • Aunos, M. (2016). Parenting with Disabilities: from outsider to insider – Lessons Learned. Invited Keynote – Dean’s Lecture, Education and Social Work Lecture Series, University of Sydney. https://soundcloud.com/sydney-ideas/parenting-with-disabilities


Thanks to Valerie Rosen Photography for the pictures taken of me that are used on this website. Please check out http://www.valerierosenphotography.com