The following professionals are members of the board of advisers for the National Center on Disability and Journalism. The board helps chart the center’s course and serves as a source of advice and support.
Doig is a professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Before joining ASU in 1996, he worked for 20 years as an investigative reporter and editor at The Miami Herald, where he became a specialist in computer-assisted reporting. Projects on which he worked at the Herald won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and other major awards.
Doig’s interest in the topic of disabilities in journalism dates back to his experience working with the late John Wolin, a Herald editor who had a stellar career there despite numerous surgeries necessitated by his particularly difficult condition of achondroplasia dwarfism.
Doig holds a degree in political science from Dartmouth College and graduated from, and later taught at, the Defense Information School. He spent a year as a combat correspondent for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.
He actively consults with print and broadcast news media outlets around the world on computer-assisted reporting problems and is an active member of IRE, serving on the 5,000-member organization’s board of directors for four years. Recently, he worked with IRE to organize a new journalism contest, called the Phil Meyer Award, to recognize the best journalism using social science techniques. In addition, he has been a speaker at many national meetings of journalism and other organizations. He also has traveled to Canada, England, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil and Indonesia to do training in precision journalism techniques. His research interests include newsroom diversity, demographics, public opinion polling and finding techniques used by other professions that can be developed into tools for journalists.
Dan Hajducky is an associate editor in ESPN’s Enterprise Journalism unit, where he also is the Operations Chair for ESPN’s Enabled Employee Resource Group. He covers soccer, sports cards/memorabilia and occasionally covers men’s and women’s basketball and baseball.
He previously worked at Moffly Media, ESPN The Magazine and WWE and interned at both the Connecticut Post and New Haven Register. He has written for Den of Geek US, Bustle, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Spry Literary Journal and Folks. He holds a MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University and attended Fordham and Southern Connecticut State universities, earning a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and media studies with a minor in film. He played on the men’s soccer team at both schools. He lives with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss in both ears.
Beth A. Haller is Professor Emerita of mass communication at Towson University in Maryland, retiring in July 2020. Her research specializes in the representation of disability in news, entertainment, and online media. In 2020, she co-edited the Routledge Companion to Disability and Media. The book collects the “global perspectives of leading researchers, writers, and practitioners, including many authors with lived experience of disability,” to discuss disability in a variety mass media internationally.
Books by Haller include Representing Disability in an Ableist World (2010) and Byline of Hope: The Newspaper and Magazine Writing of Helen Keller (2015). She is also the co-author of the textbook, An Introduction to News Reporting: A Beginning Journalist’s Guide (2005). Haller was co-editor of the Society for Disability Studies academic journal, Disability Studies Quarterly, from 2003 to 2006.
Haller was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Sydney and Curtin University in Australia in 2015. In 2016, with Patricia Almeida in Brazil and Catia Malaquias in Australia, she is co-founder and co-director of the Global Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment (GADIM), which was created to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in mass media worldwide.
Haller was mass communication faculty at Towson University from 1996-2020 and assisted in the creation of the Applied Adult Disability Studies minor at Towson University, where she teaches a required class for the minor called “Understanding Disability through Mass Media.” She has been adjunct faculty in the City University of New York (CUNY)’s Disability Studies programs, the graduate Critical Disability Studies program at York University in Toronto, Canada, and the Disability Studies minor at the University of Texas-Arlington.
Haller is a native of Fort Worth, Texas, and received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Baylor University. She worked as a print journalist for newspapers in Texas, New Mexico, Illinois, and Maryland before moving into higher education. She earned a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Maryland College Park, and completed her Ph.D. in mass media and communication at Temple University in 1995, with a dissertation titled “Disability rights on the public agenda: Elite news media coverage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Becky Kekula serves as the Disability Equality Index Director at Disability:IN, where she’s responsible for managing the DEI program. She currently serves as the Little People of America Employment Chair.
Previously, Kekula spent three and a half years working in the Equity & Inclusion department at Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the world’s largest entertainment union. There, she supported the implementation of a national diversity plan of action to achieve accurate representation of those groups historically excluded from the entertainment and news media.
She also worked at CBS Television Studios, where she assisted with the casting of pilots and television series, and in the Entertainment Marketing and Comedy Touring departments at Creative Artists Agency, the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency. She served as the marketing director and was a co-founding board member of the Catalina Film Festival. She also founded DisABILITY In Media, which focuses on positive disability inclusion storytelling through social media.
Kekula received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Providence College.
A prolific public speaker and advocate for disability inclusion on a global scale, she has spoken at over 200 venues, including schools, corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies, throughout the U.S. and beyond.
Jennifer LaFleur is a senior editor at The Center for Public Integrity. She joined CPI from the Investigative Reporting Workshop. She also teaches at American University.
LaFleur previously was a senior editor for Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she managed an award-winning team of data journalists, investigative reporters and fellows. She is the former director of data journalism at ProPublica and has held similar roles at The Dallas Morning News and other newspapers. Her disability reporting in St. Louis prompted a federal investigation of the transit system. She is a former training director for Investigative Reporters and Editors and currently serves on IRE’s Board of Directors.
Susan M. LoTempio
Susan LoTempio worked for The Buffalo News for 25 years, serving as readership editor, assistant managing editor for Features, Lifestyle assignment editor, and editor of the youth section NeXt, which she created. She has written and lectured on how media cover disability issues and why they need to report beyond the stereotypes of disability. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, New Mobility Magazine, Children’s Beat Magazine, the Dallas Morning News, and The Buffalo News. She wrote a popular blog Diversity at Work for the Poynter Institute about media representations of disability. LoTempio retired in 2011 and now volunteers for organizations devoted to issues of disability.
Wendy Lu is a senior staff editor at The New York Times. Her work has been featured in HuffPost, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Bustle, Quartz, Columbia Journalism Review and more. Wendy is a global speaker on disability representation in the media and served as a 2020 judge for NCDJ’s annual Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Disability Reporting. Through her Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowship, she’s developed a curriculum to educate reporters on how to cover disability issues and train newsrooms to be more inclusive of disabled journalists. She was named one of 30 global disability leaders on Diversability’s D-30 Disability Impact List of 2020. Wendy holds a master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School and a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism. She is based in New York City.
Cara Reedy, Program Manager for DREDF’s Disability Media Alliance Project (DMAP), has been involved in media her entire life in one form or another. She’s a journalist, an actor and a photographer. Her journey in media has taken several twists and turns. People with disabilities have to create the world they want to operate in before they can do what they are passionate about. Cara is no exception. She worked at CNN for ten years, produced docs, did some food writing and, yes, reported on disability.
In 2015, she quit CNN and starred in a self-produced pilot and directed another. In 2018, Cara freelanced at NPR on Weekend All Things Considered. In 2019 she co-produced a short doc for The Guardian “Dwarfism and Me.”
Cara believes that Disability–the world’s largest minority that crosses race, socio-economic class and age is only in the beginning stages of being represented properly by the media. Anyone can become disabled at any point in their life and yet disability continues to be spoken about as something unnatural and unusual. As the Program Manager for DMAP, Cara wants to make space for Disabled media professionals to lead the conversations that most affect our lives. Having disabled people control our own narrative will make for more truthful storytelling. The world has been missing out and the journalist in Cara knows that cannot stand.
Amy Silverman is an independent journalist based in Tempe, Arizona. Her focus is social justice with the goal of better covering people with intellectual disabilities by merging personal narrative and storytelling with investigative and explanatory reporting, as well as focusing on the development of plain language translations and other ways of making journalism more accessible.
In 2021, Amy will complete a visiting fellowship with the Nieman Foundation, focused on these issues.
She is also continuing work started in 2020 with the Arizona Daily Star and Pro Publica’s Local Reporting Network. The project was a finalist for the Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics and won the President’s Award from Lee Enterprises.
Amy is a frequent contributor to KJZZ, the NPR member station in Phoenix, as well as a monthly columnist for PHOENIX magazine and a contributing editor for the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. She’s an adjunct professor at Phoenix College, and also co-teaches the long-running Mothers Who Write workshop at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix. Amy is the co-founder of Fly Paper and the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies at Valley Bar in downtown Phoenix as well as the co-editor of the essay collection Bar Flies: True Stories from the Early Years.
Her work has appeared on the radio shows Here & Now, The Pulse and This American Life, and in Literary Hub, The New York Times, Washington Post, Lenny Letter, Motherwell, and Brain, Child. Amy worked for 25 years as a staff writer and editor at New Times, the alternative weekly in Phoenix, where she was twice honored as the Arizona Press Club’s Virg Hill Journalist of the Year and also won the Don Bolles award for investigative reporting.
Amy’s first book, My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome, was published by Woodbine House in 2016. Amy is a graduate of Scripps College (B.A. American Studies) and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism (M.S.). She lives with her husband, Ray Stern. They have two daughters.
Jason Strother is an American multimedia journalist who covers the news through the lens of disability and accessibility. After working overseas as a freelance reporter for 15 years, he returned to his home state of New Jersey in 2021 and launched Lens15 Media, which produces news content for and about the 15% of the world’s population that has a physical, sensory or learning difference. He also advises on best practices for covering this community as well as making real and virtual spaces more inclusive. Jason’s work is informed by his own experience having a low vision impairment. His stories have been published by the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, the BBC and many other U.S. and international outlets. He also is a 2020 National Geographic Explorer and is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University, where he created a course on disability representation in media.