Disabilities among the pioneers

July 29, 2009 by JoLynne Lyon

Undergraduate student researcher Kimberli Harrison and CPD Director Bryce Fifield set out to find stories of pioneers with disabilities.

Undergraduate student researcher Kimberli Harrison and CPD Director Bryce Fifield set out to find stories of pioneers with disabilities.

This year, undergraduate researcher Kimberli Harrison took on a less-studied topic of the Mormon migration: disabilities among the Mormon pioneers. She worked with mentor and CPD Director Bryce Fifield to find out more about pioneers with disabilities.

There’s not a lot of published research out there on the topic, Fifield said in an interview broadcast on Utah Public Radio’s Access Utah. “We’ve been just having a very interesting trek of our own.”

Fifield and Harrison dug accounts from old journal entries. The stories do more than illustrate the experiences of individuals who crossed the plains with a disability; they also highlight fellow pioneers’ attitudes. You can hear some of the stories by listening to the podcast of the theĀ  July 23 program.