Dating & Disabilities: Easter Seals Love & Relationships Story Series Returns
Easter Seals clients and friends speak to love, marriage, caregiving, intimacy and more
Easter Seals’ “Love, Dating, Relationships and Disabilities” returns just in time for Valentine’s Day—featuring a new panel of experts enduring life’s most sincere moments. The second annual digital series explores love in its many forms, with first-hand accounts from the frontlines of dating, marriage, intimacy and friendship, all with people living—and loving—with disabilities or challenges like long-distance romance. This year’s content features a variety of experts who have opened their heart to love:
Love and Marriage
Palmer Hartson Williams shares her experience in planning the accessible wedding of her dreams. Palmer, who is paralyzed from the waist down, was not going to let her disability affect her vision of an outdoor wedding. She’s sharing her tips for a wheelchair accessible wedding in hopes that she can assist other brides and grooms in the planning stages of their fairytale weddings.
Military Couples and Long Distance Marriages
Sara Heidenheimer shares how she and her husband kept the love and respect for each other strong through his four tours of duty while in the U.S. Navy and her two pregnancies. Twelve years later, and their marriage is as strong as ever. Sara’s sharing her top secrets for staying connected as a couple—even when miles and continents physically separate you.
Navigating the Dating Scene With Autism
According to Maurice Snell, everyone brings baggage into a new relationship, but he wants to make one thing clear: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) isn’t baggage at all. Maurice Snell, who has ASD, shares his journey in love and relationships, including his best dating advice. Listen to Maurice’s stories of the Chicago dating scene and find out what qualities he’s looking for in his future “Mrs. Right.”
Breaking Past Fears of Dating With Cerebral Palsy
Chad Cunningham shied away from the dating scene until his 20s. Now the handsome newlywed shares how he overcame his barriers to love—leading him to his wife. Read about what’s next for the laidback 34-year-old, including a big announcement.
Dr. Sheypuk Shares her Top Dating Tips
Dr. Sheypuk is a clinical psychologist who specializes in dating, relationships and sexuality among people with disabilities. She’s tested her own advice first-hand, living and dating with a disability in New York City. The single Manhattanite, shares her top five tips for overcoming insecurities and getting into the dating scene. Her first key to success is to get “on the market.” She encourages people of all abilities to cultivate their self-image as a person who is dateable, desirable, has a lot to offer a partner, and is capable of finding romantic love.
In addition to these tips for romance, view stories from the many faces of love including:
- Friendship. Longtime friends Shayne and Kristen share their ups and downs—and why their friendship is so special.
- Siblings. Siblings are the longest relationships of our lives. Mary Sykes gives a first-hand account on caring for her sister who has Down Syndrome.
- Our Favorite Proposals. Stories of a few romantic, unique, and even funny accounts of marriage proposals, plus life after the wedding.
This is just a sneak peek into the series; for more tips and heartwarming stories, visit www.easterseals.com/love.
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, Easter Seals will be releasing additional features on love and romance including:
- Love and Aging: A new story about marriages that have lasted 50 or more years and how spouses are finding themselves to be caregivers for each other more than ever through Alzheimer’s and other challenges
- Full-time Caregivers as Honorary Family Members: Paralyzed from the neck down, Ben Trockman shares how he maintains his independence and establishes himself in his new career by setting boundaries, and maintaining a strong relationship, with his full-time nurse assistant.
About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For nearly 100 years, we have been offering help, hope, and answers to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in their communities. For more information visit www.easterseals.com.
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