Advisory Board on Disability

Delta’s Customer Advisory Board on Disability promotes accessibility for all our customers by providing leadership in achieving our sustainable goal: making Delta, carrier of choice for customers with disabilities in all aspects of our business.

Mission Statement:

“Making Delta, carrier of choice for customers through operational excellence, “second mile” service and building emotional connections with the disability community.”

Shanti Aaron

Georgia Department of Labor
Atlanta, Georgia
Shanti Aaron is the Social Security programs manager for Georgia Department of Labor Vocational Rehabilitation Services. She holds a MS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Vocational Rehabilitation, as well as post graduate certification in Management. She has worked in all facets of Vocational Rehabilitation for twenty plus years. Ms. Aaron has served on a variety of Boards and Committees as an advocate for persons with disabilities. She currently resides in Atlanta.

Grover Evans, PhD. — Little Rock, Arkansas

Evans & Associates of Arkansas
Grover Evans is the founder and CEO of Evans and Associates of Arkansas. He served as special consultant for system design for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services and Department of Health and Human Service. He is the former Director of Disability Determination for the Social Security Administration for Arkansas. Grover was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame, publisher and author of numerous articles on wellness, goal setting and other health related issues. He and his wife, Helen have two children and a granddaughter.

Catherine Leigh Graham - Blythewood, South Carolina

Executive Director - SC Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund
Catherine is the Executive Director of the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund which promotes research to develop better understanding of causes and effective treatment strategies for paralysis, sensory loss and other consequences of spinal cord injury and disease.  Catherine also works as a rehabilitation engineer with over 20 years as owner of her ADA consulting group providing assessments and transition plans for businesses throughout the US. 

Carol Gray - Zeeland, Michigan

Social Stories - Author, Speaker, Subject Matter Expert
Carol Gray is a Consultant to Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Autism.  She is an internationally sought-after keynote and seminar speaker, and has completed over 1,000 presentations. She is best known for the development of Social Stories, a well-respected evidence-based practice used worldwide with people with autism of all ages. Carol is the recipient of several awards for her contributions to the education and welfare of individuals with autism worldwide.  For more information about Carol and her work, or to contact her, visit www.CarolGraySocialStories.com.

Robert Haas – Columbus Ohio

Amputee Coalition of Columbus Ohio, Retired US Navy, Motivational Speaker
After a distinguished career in the US Navy, Robert experienced disability in a profound way while serving in the US Navy Reserve.  He became acutely aware of what happens as many of our returning veterans experiencing debilitating injuries and vowed to make a difference in their lives as well as his own.  His mission is to help veterans return to an active recreational lifestyle instead of a sedentary one.  Robert is the founder of Amputee Recreational Support Group for Central Ohio.

J. R. Harding, Ph.D

External Affairs Manager, Agency for People with Disabilities
Tallahassee, Flroida
Dr. J.R. Harding is a recognized disability leader. As a 2x quadriplegic, author of "Now What?", accessibility expert, and international speaker, he has contributed for over 30 years to national, state, and community policy for the independence and self-sufficiency of persons with disabilities. He has served under 2 US Presidents, 4 Florida Governors, and continuously serves on a number of community-based organizations. This service currently includes: The Able Trust (Director), The Florida Network on Disabilities (Director) and the Delta Disability Advisory Board (member). He is the first person with a significant disability to graduate from both Leadership Florida, Leadership Tallahassee, and he is also a co-founder of Florida Disability Mentoring Day (DMD). He completed his doctorate from Florida State University (FSU) in Higher Education and Public Policy. He works full-time for the state of Florida with the Agency of Persons with Disabilities (APD). He and his lovely wife Erika live and work in Tallahassee, FL.
 

Michael Harris

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) - Michigan
Novi, Michigan
Michael F Harris is Executive Director of the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America. PVA members are honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Services who have incurred spinal cord injury or disease resulting in paralysis and are dependent upon the use of a wheelchair for mobility. He has served on the Customer Advisory Board at Northwest Airlines since 2001. He resides in Westland, Michigan.

Minna Hong

Shepherd Center
Atlanta, Georgia
Minna A. Hong is the SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) Peer Support Coordinator at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also a Board Member of Disability Resource Group and distribution committee member for Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund, GA. She also serves as a guest lecturer for Emory University, the University of Georgia, Mercer University and Georgia State University's physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant students. Minna is a spinal cord injury survivor, wife and mother of two young adults.

John Kemp – New York, New York

President and CEO of the Viscardi Center
John D. Kemp, Esq. became only the fourth President & CEO of The Viscardi Center a non-profit organization providing a life span of services that educate, employ and empower people with disabilities. He is widely respected for his many achievements, both in the corporate and non-profit worlds. As a person with a disability who uses four prostheses, he inspires others to achieve the impossible through knowledge, experience, vision, personality, and persistence. Mr. Kemp graduated from Georgetown University in 1971 and from Washburn University School of Law in 1974. In March 2006, Mr. Kemp received the Henry B. Betts Award, widely regarded as America's highest honor for disability leadership and service. With more than 50 years of direct experience in the disability movement, John D. Kemp has partnered with, worked for and served as Board Member/Chair or CEO of some of the leading disability and nonprofit organizations.. In 1995, Mr. Kemp co-founded the American Association of People with Disabilities with Paul G. Hearne.  In 2001, he became a partner in the Washington, DC Law Firm of Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, P.C., where he developed an active federal legislative and lobbying practice.  In January 2014, Mr. Kemp received the David Award, bestowed upon ‘Renaissance men’ of Long Island by Networking magazine who have excelled in business or academics and also accomplished outstanding heroic and humanitarian acts. John was recently awarded the prestigious Robert Dole Award for his exemplary leadership in the Disability Community.

 Alan Muir – Knoxville, TN

Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities – University of Tennessee
After joining the University of Tennessee (UT) in 1998, Alan Muir recognized the disconnect between post-secondary offices of disability services and career services at universities across the country.  Subsequently, Mr. Muir co-founded Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD), and became Executive Director.  Under his leadership, COSD experienced significant growth, bringing together member entities including universities, employers, and U.S. Government agencies to focus on career employment of college graduates with disabilities.  He has presented at universities, employers and many conferences nationwide.  Mr. Muir’s previous experience was as a Vice-President with Chase Manhattan Bank for 16 years.  Mr. Muir’s outside involvement in disability and employment issues includes current memberships in Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Tennessee AHEAD, National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and Southern Association of Colleges and Employers (SoACE).  In 2011, Mr. Muir received the Fred Strache Award for Leadership from the California State University Northridge (CSUN) Center on Disabilities at the 26th Annual Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference.  Mr. Muir also was the recipient of the 2004 AAPD / Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, a distinguished and highly competitive national honor.  Community service involvement includes membership on the Board of Directors of the Disability Law and Advocacy Center in Nashville, TN . 

David Nelson

National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
Washington, DC
David Nelson is President of the DC Association of the Deaf and has been with NAD since 1978. He has received the organization's most prestigious award, the Fred C. Schreiber Distinguished Service Award. David is Disability Outreach Officer in Government Affairs & Corporate Communications at the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). He is responsible for providing accessibility information and outreach activities to the disability community. He holds a bachelor's degree from Rochester Institute of Technology as well as degrees from National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) and Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. He resides in Washington, DC.

David Rosenthal- Minneapolis, MN

Director, Minnesota Department of Human Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division
David, who is Deaf, was the Executive Director of the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing when he worked with the Kansas Corporation Commission to establish the Kansas Relay Center service prior to the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  David served 17 years as manager and area manager for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (now AT&T) in the Kansas Relay Center.  During his time with Southwestern Bell, David also was involved with the National Emergency Number Association by helping them help Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to improve their communications accessibility and responding effectively to people with hearing loss when they call 9-1-1 for assistance. After leaving AT&T, David was president of the Kansas Telecommunications Industry Association for 6 years.  He is currently the director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services for the Minnesota Department of Human Services.   

Jay Stiteley, Houston, TX

Manager – Department of Neighborhoods, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Jay Stiteley currently works for the City of Houston, Department of neighborhoods, as Division Manager of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, since February of 2014. Prior to this, Jay has worked in the field of services to individuals who are blind and visually impaired since 1978.  He has served as a rehabilitation teacher for newly blinded adults and has taught assistive technology.  In the area of assistive technology, his accomplishments include the establishment of computer access centers for the Veterans Administration in Palo Alto, CA and the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center in Austin, TX.  He served as Field Representative with The Seeing Eye, Inc. in Morristown, NJ and Houston, TX, traveling extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada.  His experience in management includes work as National Technology Program Director with the American Foundation for the Blind in Chicago, IL and Dean of Students with the Tennessee School for the Blind in Nashville, TN.  Most recently, he held the post of Director of Rehabilitation Services with World Services for the Blind in Little Rock, AR.  His advocacy work includes previous service on the Federal Communications Commission Consumer Advisory Committee and Verizon’s Customer Advisory Board. Currently, he serves on Delta’s Advisory Board for Disabilities, a post he has held since 2009.  A native of Plainfield, IL, Stiteley holds a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Teaching (Northern Illinois University - DeKalb, IL), Master of Science in Management (Thomas Edison State College - Trenton, NJ) and Bachelor of Arts in History/Education (Rockford University - Rockford, IL).  In 1980, he participated in the Olympics for the Disabled (now called Para-Olympics) in Arnhem, Holland as a member of the U.S. swimming and track team. Jay is chair of the Education and Outreach Committee for the Advisory Board.

Mallory Weggemann – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Paralympic Gold Medalist, Motivational Speaker
Mallory has been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven.  After her injury at the age of 18, Weggemann chose to return to the pool.  In April 2008, her older sister found an article in the local newspaper discussing the Paralympic Swimming Trials.  Still learning her new life with a disability, Weggemann found one thing unchanged, her love for swimming.  Mallory showcased her amazing abilities by winning gold and setting a Paralympic Record in the 50m freestyle.  Mallory also anchored the bronze medal winning 4x100m medley relay team, bringing USA back from fifth place to almost capturing gold!  It has been deemed one of the most memorable moments of the London Games, and it inspired many across the world. Mallory is also a highly sought after motivational speaker for corporations and has been a speaker at TEDX.

 

Glen W. White, Ph.D

Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas
Glen is Director of the Research & Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas, serving as Principal Investigator of the Research and Training Center on Community Living. He conducts research that focuses on increasing opportunity for consumers with disabilities to more fully participate in the community.  Dr. White has regularly conducted research and training in Perú and has more recently conducted research with colleagues in Korea and Japan.  He is past president of the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, past Chair of the American Public Health Association's Disability Forum and serves as an adviser and consultant to many national organizations. Dr. White is Professor of Applied Behavioral Science, where he teaches behavioral, community psychology and disability studies. Dr. White is the current Chairman of the Delta Advisory Board on Disability.

Delta ABD Emeritus Board Members

Board members completing their term may select to remain connected to the Advisory Board by participating in projects without the additional responsibilities of board membership:

Pat Maher - Chicago Illinois

Patrick Maher is the President of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association's board of directors. As Managing Director for nAblement of SPR, an IT solutions firm, Pat develops opportunities for organizations to hire qualified IT professionals with disabilities for a wide range of IT support needs. He also serves on the Spinal Cord Leaders Council, Illinois Institute of Technology Rehab Psychology Advisory Board, Illinois Technology Foundation Advisory Board and Abilitylinks Steering and Education committees. Pat served as chairman of the board from 2010 to 2013.

Lydia Graber – Detroit Michigan

Ms. Graber served as a board member since April 2002 to 2012. She has been a member of the Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns since 1993 and served as chair from 1996 to 2003. MCDC has 21 governor-appointed commissioners who serve in an advisory capacity and provide the perspectives of people with disabilities, the business community and professional service providers.

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