The 2022–2024 All Wheels Up Wheelchair Advisory Committee
- Cory Lee Woodard
- Sylvia Longmire
- Dave Stevens
- Laura Hatton
- Shane and Hannah Burcaw
- Gabriele deFiebre
- Emily Ladau
- Dario Di Zanni
- Mike OKray
Tasked with identifying and resolving air travel challenges for wheelchair users, the 2022–2024 Wheelchair Advisory Committee, led by All Wheels Up Board Member Michael OKray, will be focused on answering the following questions:
• What are the challenges wheelchair users face when traveling by air?
• What are possible resolutions to these challenges?
• Where would we like to see future research focus?
These questions will be answered through in-depth conversations based on personal travel experiences during quarterly meetings, interviews with individuals and groups across the wheelchair user community, and more.
Cory Lee Woodard
After being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, Cory Lee’s thirst for adventure never ceased. He has traveled across all seven continents in his powered wheelchair while managing to run his travel blog curbfreewithcorylee.com, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not so accessible — travel adventures with others. His blog has received three Webby Awards for Best Personal Blog and two Lowell Thomas Awards for Best Travel Blog. In 2019, he was chosen as New Mobility Magazine’s Person of the Year. Cory was selected as one of several external experts with a demonstrated commitment to equality and inclusion to serve on the All-inclusive Advisory Panel for The Points Guy, a travel media brand that attracts 10 million visitors per month. As always, his goal is to inspire other wheelchair users to roll out of their comfort zone and see all of the beauty the world has to offer.
Sylvia Longmire is an award-winning accessible travel writer, a service-disabled Air Force veteran, and the former Ms. Wheelchair USA 2016. She travels around the world, usually solo, in her power wheelchair to document the accessibility of her destinations through articles, photography, and video. Sylvia is also a documentary director, producer, voice actor, and a staunch advocate for accessibility and disability representation. She is the author of four accessible travel books and the creator of the Spin the Globe accessible travel blog.
Dave Stevens is the only legless player in sports history to have played NCAA football (Augsburg University, MN) and minor league baseball (St. Paul Saints) The 7 time Emmy winning sports journalist is now a motivational speaker and television host as he nears 40 years in broadcasting (20 with ESPN). The father of 3 teen boys is a Professional in Residence at Quinnipiac University, and oversees the new Ability Media initiative at the college to teach media and production to disabled students and create job opportunities and careers.
I’m a single mom to Benjamin. I adopted Ben when he was 2 out of the foster care system. I love showing Ben the world. It didn’t take me long to learn that the world wasn’t made for wheels. After a few flights not going well we bought a RV and now do our traveling by RV. But I am excited to be a part of this and hopefully together we can make a change. Benjamin is going to be ten in July. He has a rear chromosome gain. Due to this he has intractable epilepsy, he has trach and is vent dependent.
Shane and Hannah Burcaw
Shane and Hannah Burcaw are relationship vloggers on a mission to change the way society understands disability. On their YouTube channel, Squirmy and Grubs, which has gained 900,000+ subscribers and worldwide media attention, the couple shares a hilarious and authentic examination of what it’s like to be in an interabled relationship. Shane lives with a form of muscular dystrophy that requires him to use an electric wheelchair. Hannah is able-bodied and provides the majority of Shane’s daily care. In addition to their work on YouTube, the couple is co-authoring a nonfiction collection of love stories that involve people with disabilities. Shane and Hannah speak across the country from universities to elementary schools to Fortune 500 companies. They live in Minneapolis, MN with their fluffy goldendoodle, Chloe.
GG currently works as the Director of Research and Programs at the Siegel Rare Neuroimmune Association, a patient advocacy non-profit. GG was diagnosed with transverse myelitis in December of 2009 and is a C6/7 quadriplegic and a full-time wheelchair user. GG earned a bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida, and received a master’s degree in public health from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy at Hunter College. She then earned a PhD in Community Health and Health Policy at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. She is eager to assist with All Wheels Up’s Wheelchair Advisory Committee.
Emily Ladau is a passionate disability rights activist, writer, storyteller, and digital communications consultant whose career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. Her writing has been published in outlets including The New York Times, SELF, Salon, Vice, and HuffPost and her first book, Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally, was published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in September 2021. Emily has spoken before numerous audiences, from the U.S. Department of Education to the United Nations. Central to all of her work is a focus on and harnessing the power of storytelling as a tool for people to become engaged in disability and social justice issues.
Dario Di Zanni
Dario is Italian born and raised, he’s 43 and lives and works in Los Angeles, with his wife and 2 daughters, Zoe and Zelda. He’s a former Disney and AMC Networks business executive, now running his own Media Company. His younger daughter, Zelda, has lissencephaly. Dario is a member of the Parents Council and Board at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles
Born with Spina Bifida – Myelomeningocele, Mike currently calls Dallas, TX home and feels there isn’t anything in life that he can’t do. Mike has spent his entire life proving disbelievers wrong. Throughout life, Mike has learned to ride horses, fly single engine airplanes, play organized athletics, and for the past 11 years has worked for one of the largest airlines in the United States, which has only fueled his love for aviation and travel. Mike is honored and blessed to be a part of All Wheels Up and Committee Chair for the Wheelchair Advisory Committee.