Jamy Emil Dickson
Our friend, Jamy Emil Dickson, died on August 15, 2016, at the age of 51 after a two-year struggle with cancer. He is survived by his father Johnny Dickson, his brother John Dickson—along with his beloved nephews Jeremy, Christopher, and Patrick—and his sister-in-law, Elaine Dickson.
Jamy was a long time AHEAD member, member of Mississippi AHEAD, and former member of PEPNet-South. He was a dedicated professional who cared deeply for the students he worked with. Jamy had an infectious personality, and those who knew him will certainly miss his humor and southern charm at our annual conference.
Jamy spent most of his life in the greater Jackson, Mississippi, area and worked for almost twenty years at Hinds Community College. During the summer before his death, he became the District Director of the Disability Support Services’ (DSS) office. He was adored, liked, or loved by most of the employees of Hinds. Nearly 200 employees attended his memorial service on a late Friday afternoon at the Raymond campus.
In addition, Jamy’s work with the deaf community—both in Mississippi and nationwide—made him an ambassador for Hinds and for the work of the staff in DSS.
Jamy’s dedication to his job and its mission was stellar. He never stopped being a leader in the disability community and also sought to improve conditions at Hinds and elsewhere.
His friends remember Jamy as a complex man who worked tirelessly, laughed with total abandon—even when it was a sardonic laugh, and loved his friends with a passion that has left them almost homeless.
He is survived by his beloved Dachshund Katie who now lives with another Dachshund, Lucy Peanut, and two cats who are under the care of his neighbor Sharon Gerald at Hinds.
Longtime AHEAD member, Duraese Hall of Houston, Texas passed away on August 30, 2016. Duraese was the previous Director of Student Disability Services at the University of Houston, Downtown. She was an active member of AHEAD in Texas and served as President in 2010. Duraese was an active AHEAD member and a strong voice for diversity within the association. She served as a founding member of both the REDD SIG and Diversity Standing Committee. You may remember her guttural laugh, beautiful salt and pepper dreadlocks, and colorful African wear always socializing with people at the AHEAD conferences. Those who knew her were touched by her presence and will miss her friendship.
Teresa Lynn Wells Haven (April 12, 1966 - September 21, 2016)
Teresa Haven was a highly respected figure in the field of technology accessibility. She had an uncommon set of skills. She understood how assistive technology interfaces with other information and communication technologies and was a programmer who could look at code to identify and resolve accessibility issues. Teresa dedicated her career to making education possible for everyone.
Within AHEAD, Teresa was an active presenter and member of the Technology Standing Committee for many years. She gave freely of her time and expertise. Teresa was actively involved in the development and delivery of a series of professional development Webinars on accessible technology from note-taking software to purchasing strategies and also presented for AHEAD’s management institutes. She used her presentations to not only share knowledge but to share strategies on how we can reframe access and disability on our campuses. In that capacity, she was instrumental in leading the national conversation around accessible technology in higher education, impacting not only college and university responses to accessibility but the way in which developers/vendors of educational software incorporate accessibility in the design of their products.
Beyond all of that, and most important of all, Teresa was creative, generous, and kind. She valued and embraced diversity and was a strong ally in achieving change and fighting for equity in all of its forms. When we think of the phrase “selfless service” no one else comes to mind more clearly.
Teresa will be missed by everyone she knew, but her spirit of generosity, kindness and compassion will never be forgotten. It will live on in the achievements of the multitudes of people she taught, mentored and inspired. Teresa Wells Haven was a true gem.
A full obituary can be found at
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