Michigan Disability Rights Coalition is a disability justice movement working to transform communities.
Norman G. DeLisle, JR.
Norman G. DeLisle, Jr. has been the Executive Director of Michigan Disability Rights Coalition since 1997, and has worked in disability advocacy since 1970. Norm has been a part of, and has worked with, Michigan's disability community in a wide variety of settings from school systems to medical programs and legal services. His educational background is in psychology with graduate work in developmental learning and Montessori. His work has always focused on the broad community of people with disabilities, and their long quest for self-determination and community inclusion. Norm has learned from personal experience what it is like to be dis-empowered and cut off from the support of friends and family. He believes that the true role of professional knowledge is to effectively catalyze the deepest hopes and dreams of all people. Human services systems are at their best for both consumer and provider when they do not forget this basic goal.
Norm has driven MDRC's effort to make web technologies a tool of education and advocacy for Michigan's disability community. In particular, he has used standards-based web design as the core of truly accessible web sites.
Norm can be reached at extension 317
RoAnne Chaney's areas of expertise are Long-Term Care, community integration, and meaningful consumer involvement. RoAnne has experience in disability and health care issues here in Michigan. Previously, she was a Senior Program Officer with the Center for Health Care Strategies in Princeton, New Jersey where she worked on Medicaid managed care issues. RoAnne was the Associate Director of the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living for ten years where she and a team developed a collaborative interagency process to assist individuals with a variety of significant disabilities leave nursing home settings to live in the community. RoAnne has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and a Master of Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University.
RoAnne can be reached at phone extension 319.
Kathryn Wakeman Wyeth
Kathryn Wakeman Wyeth has over 25 years experience working with people with disabilities and families on both a state-wide and local level. She has worked with MDRC since 1994. One of her major roles is directing the Michigan's Assistive Technology Project. Kathryn has supported the work of grassroots groups in increasing access to Assistive Technology since 1997. She previously served as MDRC's Operation Director for seven years. Ms. Wyeth has extensive experience with presentations and in developing training for groups. She brings experience with issues related to remote/virtual office staff support needs, and skills in use of the internet as a communication, research and advocacy tool and in accessible web design.
You can leave a voice mail message for Kathryn at extension 335.
Leadership Program Manager
Melinda Haus-Johnson has advocated for disability rights for more than a decade. She has worked at Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc. and was a co-founder of the Michigan State University Council for Students with Disabilities.
Melinda first joined MDRC as an intern in August 2005 and joined our staff as the Leadership Development Coordinator in January 2006. She has her Masters in Social Work with an emphasis on Organizational and Community Practice from Michigan State University.
Melinda has a wealth of experience in various social justice movements. She is a passionate public speaker/facilitator and can serve as a motivation to others to become the leaders of the 21st century. Her passion lies in helping people find and claim their identities, discover their power, and become change agents in their lives and communities. She feels most at home when she is teaching others about privilege and oppression and various ways ALL people can work to dismantle the oppressive systems that exist in today’s society.
Melinda can be reached at phone extension 316.
Aimee Sterk has been working in and living out activism in the aging and disability community for over 12 years. She has written successful grants totaling over $1 million dollars and has presented to governmental task forces and audiences around the state and nation on nursing facility transition, financial literacy, disability etiquette, voting rights, long-term care and assistive technology. As social policy chair for the League of Women Voters in Holland, Aimee coordinated a National Organization on Disability award-winning program to increase voter accessibility for older adults and people with disabilities in West Michigan. Aimee has a B.A. in Psychology from Hope College and a M.S.W. from Michigan State University. Aimee can be reached at MDRC, extension 329.
She works on the Connections for Community Leadership and Proud of Myself grants, to help people with disabilities, specifically those with developmental disabilities become leaders. Theresa also works on the Including Our Neighbors grant and the Informed Communities grant.
She is a Certified Peer Support Specialist. Theresa proudly identifies as a member of the Disability Community, and she is passionate about disability culture, history, and pride. Previously to working at MDRC, she served one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA.
Theresa can be reached at extension 326.
M. Catherine McAdam
AT Program Coordinator
Cathy has consulted on AT grant projects sence 1999. She now works part time for MDRC overseeing AT projects for communication issues and low vision concerns for the Detroit tri/county area.
Wade began his career with MDRC in 2005 in the position of Administrative Accountant & Program Assistant, and as such came to assist the Administrative Director in the financial responsibilities for the organization. He is now responsible for the majority of the financial tasks. Wade has a B.A. in accounting from Goshen College.
His experience working for another Non-Profit makes him a good fit for MDRC. As part of his previous employment he spent considerable time in Africa. As a result of this he acquired a passion for travel and continues to have travel as a goal to experience.
Wade can be reached at extension 332.
Office and Communications Coordinator
Teresa can be reached at extension 315.
Laura Hall, Assistive Technology (AT) Information Coordinator
Laura Hall works with the public and our partners to expand the AT program’s public awareness services. Laura also provides information and referral services, expands MDRC’s AT Directory, maintains and updates information for program device demonstration services, and works with the ATXChange.
Laura has been working in the disability community for the past six years. In 2010, she received the "Unsung Advocate Award" from the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council for her work related to reducing barriers to employment for people with disabilities, and as state Organizer for ADAPT Michigan. She has provided trainings and continuing education courses statewide on Social Security and Work Incentive programs. Laura is passionate about assistive technology as a path toward independence and employment for people with disabilities.
Laura has a B.A. in Elementary Education, and a Masters of Social Work from Michigan State University. She was also trained as a Certified Work Incentive Coordinator through Virginia Commonwealth University. She can be reached at phone extension 328.