Salt Lake City will be the host city for National Barrier Awareness Day on May 5, offering a potpourri of events that will help people understand the physical and psychological barriers that still exist for those with disabilities.
The events will last over three days. One of the highlights of the event will be an interfaith observance May 6 at 8 p.m. in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. William Christopher, the man who played Father Mulcahy on the television show MASH, will be one of the featured speakers.The public is invited to attend the observance.
Christopher has recently stepped into the limelight again with the publication of a book he and his wife, Barbara, wrote about their struggle to raise their autistic son, Ned. The book, "Mixed Blessings," is a Reader's Digest Book of the Month selection. A moving account of the Christophers' life with Ned is featured in the May issue of Ladies' Home Journal.
The Rev. Harold Wilke will also be a featured speaker at the observance. Born without arms, the Rev. Wilke has launched his own international campaign to promote acceptance of people with physical, mental and emotional handicaps.
He is an author, professor, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and founder of The Healing Community.
The program will be introduced by Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of The Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Emma Lou Thayne, a prominent Salt Lake writer and community leader, will also speak.
Barrier Awareness will be the topic of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's "Music and the Spoken Word" program May 7.