Department of Neighborhoods

Press Release

Mayor Turner Sends Condolences on the Passing of the City’s Disability Champion

July 25, 2016 -- My condolences go out to the family of Jay Stiteley, a national disabilities advocate, who passed away over the weekend after a short illness. He served since 2014 as the manager of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), a division of the Department of Neighborhoods.  A true champion for the city will be missed.

Stiteley served as the City’s primary advocate for the disability community, working closely with city officials, the Houston Commission on Disabilities and partner agencies to ensure the delivery of essential services, including legal clinics, financial empowerment workshops, tax preparation assistance and job and health fairs. Stiteley introduced “disability etiquette” workshops for local professionals who serve people with disabilities, stressing appropriate interaction and the importance of treating people with dignity and respect.

His most recent efforts focused on a voter registration drive sponsored in partnership with the Houston Center for Independent Living as part of the Rev Up! Make the Disability Vote Count national campaign.  This spring, he collaborated with community partners to present employment and workforce training workshops and a job fair for veterans and people with disabilities.  In February, he led the City’s participation in the annual ReelAbilities: Houston Film & Art Festival.  Last October, he directed the City’s commemoration of the landmark 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Other major annual events he directed include Disability Awareness Month celebrated in October, White Cane Safety Day at City Hall and the Mayor’s Disability Advocate of the Year Awards.

A native of Plainfield, Illinois, Stiteley brought more than 30 years of professional experience in the field of services to individuals who are blind and visually impaired.  Stiteley’s advocacy work included service on the Federal Communications Commission Consumer Advisory Committee, Verizon’s Customer Advisory Board and Delta’s Advisory Board for Disabilities.

Jay Stiteley leaves behind his wife Karen, his four-legged companion, Nelson, and a host of family, friends and coworkers. Please keep his family in your prayers. Funeral arrangements are pending.