Linda Fitzpatrick, Director
“These are exciting times, when business can have a positive effect on important social outcomes. As a woman and a business leader, I can join with people who have many different skills to make our programs cutting edge and world class.”
Linda Fitzpatrick founded The Disability Etiquette Training Company to meet the emerging need for knowledge and skills to serve people regardless of their abilities. Linda’s Mom Katy has been an important role model and inspiration -- she managed to live life fully in spite of debilitating Rheumatoid Arthritis, having a leg amputated and relying on her wheelchair for many years. Katy’s high spirits and quest to do more has been an inspiration to Linda’s career which has been characterized by decades of achievement:
CEO of an award winning market research firm whose emphasis on both qualitative and quantitative methodologies formed the basis of Brand strategies at major corporations across many industries. Linda’s firm won the coveted AT&T Partner Recognition Award, presented to a select few of the thousands of vendor companies who support AT&T. Her thorough understanding of research and business sets the professional tone that marks all the company’s endeavors.
A widely respected teacher, mentor and role model for women in business. Linda founded the Rockland Business Association’s Women’s Forum which draws women from across the New York Tri-State area for its winning combination of expertise and camaraderie.
A legacy of community service. Linda devoted more than ten years of service as a Counselor at VCS, a not-for-profit which is renowned for serving all segments of the community. She has been awarded the prestigious Chairman’s Award from the Association for the Visually Impaired, she serves on numerous non-profit Boards and her work has been featured in national and local press.
Betty Bird, EdD, Director of Curriculum
“We can’t possibly cover all eventualities, so we teach principles that can be adapted to a wide range of situations. It’s exciting to bring innovation and best practices to the myriad companies we work with, transferring learning from industry to industry.”
Betty Bird assists in development of curriculum at The Disability Etiquette Training Company, sharing her decades of experience in rehabilitation and training:
Betty served for many years as Senior Vice President for Rehabilitation at the Lighthouse International in New York City. In that capacity she assisted countless people who were visually impaired to use tools and resources to help them lead productive and satisfying lives. Betty is a renowned national expert and personally pioneered techniques to teach visually impaired people to use a cane to navigate. Betty is a sought after speaker and consultant.
Scott Chesney, Consultant
“See the person as a person, first, rather than the Disability. More than anything our work is about communication.”
With a resume of endless transformational experiences, lessons, and inspiring stories from two worldwide journeys and living life with paralysis since the age of 15, Scott has become a nationally and internationally recognized workshop and keynote presenter while addressing over one million individuals of from all walks of life, ranging from the United Nations to Fortune 500 corporations.
In addition to maintaining a rewarding career, Scott also sits on the Board of Trustees of Children’s Specialized Hospital, the Advisory Boards of the New Jersey Disability, Health, and Wellness program and the Northern NJ Spinal Cord Injury System, and is the Co-Chairman of the New Jersey Chapter of the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.
Irene Gutmann, Program Director
“Once I became friends with someone who had a Disability I became much more sensitive.”
Irene Gutmann has contributed her extensive knowledge and expertise to the success of The Disability Etiquette Training Company. She is a skillful and compassionate teacher and facilitator, and has developed new curriculum to meet the needs of staff who teach children, especially in the area of sensory processing issues. Irene’s son Christopher had a number of challenges in this area and through his own tenacity along with Irene’s education and zeal, her son has been cured.
A licensed Social Worker, Irene has been a trainer and teacher of people in the Social Work field for many years. She is a certified life coach, and host of a popular radio talk show covering many life skills topics.
Suzanne Mackey, Director of Administration
“It’s one step at a time.”
Suzanne Mackey manages administrative matters at The Disability Etiquette Training Company including the Company’s many certifications. Suzanne also consults on courseware because of her own first-hand experience. Sue is hear-impaired as is her daughter (and staff writer) Carrie Mackey. Suzanne has been extremely active in advocacy for children with Disabilities and is a Past President of the Rockland County (NY) Association for the Hearing Impaired. Suzanne’s youngest son, Kyle, was born with a Cleft Palate and now at 15 years of age has completed more than six extensive surgeries to correct various abnormalities. Today Kyle is a handsome and well-spoken young man whose many trials would not be apparent to the casual observer. His mother’s heroism in fighting for the best care for all of her children is an inspiration to all of us at The Disability Etiquette Training Company.
Judy Stadt, Director of Marketing
Judy Stadt’s transformative experiences with Disabilities have informed her work at The Disability Etiquette Training Company, where her marketing skill connects the passion of our staff to the strong good intentions of the organizations we serve. Judy’s sister was diagnosed with Schizophrenia -- Judy’s childhood memories are colored by her recollections of her sister’s confinement in one of those sad institutions we only read about today. Judy herself spent many months in rehabilitation, and using a wheelchair, following a serious car accident.
As with many people who triumph is spite of long odds, Judy is an accomplished actor and award winning playwright as well as a successful entrepreneur and founder of Boomer Productions. Her energy, her brilliance and her passion for the work of Disability Etiquette informs all that she does and ignites all who have the opportunity to work with her.
Enid Weishaus, Program Director
Enid has been instrumental in development curriculum at The Disability Etiquette Training Company and is a skillful and engaging facilitator for our classroom programs.
Enid’s early experience included working with special needs children, and her life long learning has been devoted to spiritual and physical wellness. Enid’s career included a significant contribution at her position at American Express where she assisted in decisions regarding the Company’s philanthropy. Her innovation and creative thinking were rewarded by the highly coveted American Express President’s Award.
Deborah Sussman, OT Consultant
“This work is magnificent.”
Deborah Sussman is a New York State Licensed Occupational Therapist specializing in children and adults with Sensory Processing Disorders. Deborah’s reputation, however, is as a miracle worker – particularly to parents of children who have been saved by Deborah’s brilliant interventions. Deborah is a recognized expert with decades of experience across many schools sytems. Deb’s credo: “My ultimate goal is to enhance and maximize independence and accomplishment.” The Disability Etiquette Training Company is proud to offer its clients Debbie’s breadth and depth of skill, through our programs and special consulting.