This week, the CSG team attended Delta's Disability Fair, celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Delta's ABLE (Advocacy, Barrier-Breaking, Leadership, Education) Network on Disability.
The fair was headed up by David Martin, Disability Program Manager and the President of ABLE for Delta. I worked under David years ago as a member of Delta's Regulated Team ensuring DOT compliance in air travel. He continues to be a dedicated leader within the organization and an incredible advocate for those with disabilities.
We were thrilled to meet representatives from many different organizations who serve a similar purpose to that of CSG - Including Gayle Lee of Nobis Works (www.nobisworks.org), members of the staff of the Marcus Autism Center (www.marcus.org), and others. We were also happy to spend some time with our friends Marie Sams and Misty Lackey of the wonderful Joseph Sams School (www.josephsamsschool.org), our neighbor in Fayetteville, GA.
We were moved by the testimony of guest speaker Jennifer Arnold, the founder of Canine Assistants (www.canineassistants.org). Jennifer's story is one that many can relate to. . . the emotional upheaval that accompanies a life-altering situation, as well as the understanding, dedication, and perseverance that it requires to make a dream a reality. We all now have a better understanding of the special relationship - and the power of unconditional love - between a service dog and their owner. Jennifer's organization has placed over 1,000 service dogs nationally, reached more than 400,000 students through disabilities awareness educational presentations, and provide communities with over 120,000 hours of animal assisted therapy.
Additionally, there are not enough adjectives to describe the inspirational (I know, that's only one - but we could go on and on) keynote speaker, Aimee Copeland. As many know, only five months ago, Aimee fell off a homemade zip line, resulting in the development of necrotizing fasciitis and the amputation of one leg, her remaining foot, and both hands. At one point, she was placed on life support.
A lover of nature, the 24-year-old Aimee is studying humanistic psychology with a focus on eco-psychology at the University of West Georgia. With her bubbly personality and wonderful smile (truly a free spirit and beacon of light) she says, "Motivation is the Key to Innovation" and plans to to develop an accessible Wilderness Therapy program. Her story, as well as how to help her cause can be found at www.aimeecopeland.com.
The indomitable Aimee Copeland inspired us all, and is an incredible example of the resiliency of the human spirit. We are honored to have met her.
--Desiree Morris (Exec Assistant) and the CSG Team