056: Disabilities from a Mormon Perspective

10259206_1388394951445747_6181015056440179181_oNatasha Helfer Parker interviews Gail Nicolaysen-Shurtleff who has a clinical psychology degree from John F Kennedy University and currently lives in the Netherlands where she runs a private practice.  Gail is a lifelong member of the church who was born with a disability and shares with us some of her perspectives on some of the problematic rhetoric and discrimination we can find within Mormon culture regarding disabilities.  A rich and frank discussion ensues, involving everything from the “special” label to parenting, sexuality, polygamy, priesthood ordination, feminism, and healing blessings.

This is a sensitive topic with a wide spectrum of shared experience.  What is often healthy framing for some is not necessarily so for others.  It is not expected that all will agree with what is being shared, nor that this interview will necessarily apply or be helpful to everyone who is affected by a disability.  The hope is that an open dialogue can begin in an area not often addressed.  Please feel free to share experiences, agreement, disagreement, resources, education, ideas for future podcasts, etc. in the comment section below.

Carol Boyer on Disabilities and Domestic Violence

Survey Finds Disability Abuse Widespread

Disability Resources on LDS.org

Disability Employment Policy Resources

Americans with Disabilities Act

Gail writes at the following blog: A Gift of Being Heard

Many thanks to The Lower Lights for the beautiful bumper music and to Brian Dillman for audio production of this podcast.

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