Nashlea Brogan, B.Sc.H., M.Sc., Au.D., Doctor of Audiology is both an experienced hearing device wearer and audiologist. In 2004 she founded Bluewater Hearing & Balance in Sarnia, Ontario which has grown to three locations. Nashlea was born with normal hearing and at the young age of 18 was fitted with traditional hearing devices. Her hearing and tinnitus would progressively worsen over the years until she was left with no benefit from traditional amplification and would be implanted with cochlear implants.
Her interest in becoming an audiologist began in her early twenties when she completed a science degree in biology and psychology. She became fascinated with the early articles by Mark Ross, PhD and how people coped with acquired hearing loss. She would continue her studies at Western University completing a Master of Science in audiology. Nashlea spent the next few years researching the effects of noise in the classroom. In 2009, Nashlea completed her Doctor of Audiology degree.
No two people are alike; we all have different preferences, fears, beliefs, and goals. Nashlea loves spending her days talking to clients and helping them problem solve real-world listening and technology problems.
Leon has served as Executive Director of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association–Newfoundland and Labrador (CHHA-NL) since 1995-1996. He has extensive experience as a community volunteer leader, having served as a Board Member and President of his current organization, CHHA-NL in 1994-1995, as well as President of the Newfoundland & Labrador Society of Fundraising Executives (NLSFRE), now known as the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
He has a Masters Degree in Education (1997), specializing in Educational Leadership. While attending MUN, he was awarded several academic and athletic awards, including the Recognition Award for Outstanding Contribution to Residence Life, Induction to the Athletic Honour Society and the Birk’s Convocation Medal for Student Leadership. Leon was also nominated for Memorial’s Volunteer of the Year Award. He self-identifies as being hard of hearing and has worn two hearing aids since 1984. He is a strong community advocate for hearing loss and other disability issues and has served, or is serving, on a number of local, national, community, government and corporate agency committees that deal with disabilities and the charitable and non-profit sectors.
Dr. Ruth Warick
Dr. Ruth Warick is President of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. She is a founding member of CHHA for which she served as President from 1994-1996. She is immediate past president of the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People and is First Vice-President of the International Disability Alliance. She was formerly a Senior Accessibility Advisor at the University of British Columbia where she worked for over 25 years. Currently, she is Director of Programs and Services for Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility; she manages the accessible communications, community outreach and research divisions of the agency. She has a doctoral degree from the University of British Columbia and was recognized for her work by being named a recipient of the University‘s President Award of Excellence in Diversity in 2012. She was born with a hearing loss and lives in Vancouver, Canada.
Kim Scott has served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, Sudbury Branch since 2003. She formerly served the Branch board of directors as President for six years. During her tenure Kim has helped the Sudbury Branch to develop strong community partnerships, long term financial sustainability and improve the public profile of CHHA and hearing loss issues. She has overseen the implementation of numerous new programs, supports and services available in Sudbury and across Northeastern Ontario for people with hearing loss. Kim was born and raised hard of hearing and began to wear two hearing aids at the age of four. She studied in respiratory therapy but was forced to abandon her career when she became deafened at the age of twenty-six. She received a cochlear implant in 1995. Kim is a devoted member of CHHA and a passionate advocate for people with hearing loss. She is a leader who believes dreams can come true with hope, optimism and perseverance.
Cindy Gordon has been a Rehabilitation Practitioner for 40 + years and has worked with a multitude of disabilities over those years. The past 30 years have focused on hearing loss. She has been profoundly hard of hearing since her youth. Now wears a CI and A hearing aid. She was co-owner and director of Bridges Support Services from 2003 until 2020 and Program Director for The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association-Edmonton Branch (CHHA) 2015-to present. She has been actively involved in CHHA National and CHHA-Edmonton and in the Hard of Hearing Community for 30+ years. In December she received the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal for her lifelong dedication to working in the hearing loss field. She has received the 2016 “Council of Canadians with Disabilities” National Award-for dedication and Integrity; The 2014 Marilyn Dahl award of Merit, for outstanding service to CHHA, The 2010 Mayors Award and the 2004 Alberta Premier’s Council “Gary McPherson Award of Excellence” for leadership work on issues of inclusion for persons with disabilities. She is also certified in Audiometric Technology and Conflict Resolution. Married for 40 years, the mother of 4 children (3 additional daughter in laws and 1 son in law), 3 amazing granddaughters, 1 grandson and 1 dog! There is A whole lot of communication going on there!
Engagement Manager – Cochlear Canada East. Dorota joined Cochlear in September 2017. Her personal hearing journey began in 2009 when her son, Lukas, was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss. His story began with bilateral hearing aids and in 2012 he underwent bilateral cochlear implantation. Since 2011 she has been an active volunteer and advocate supporting many families and individuals throughout their hearing loss experience. This led to her new role where she continues to support candidates, recipients and volunteers through their hearing journey. Dorota can be often spotted wearing something yellow.
Engagement Manager – Cochlear Canada West. Waking up one day to find most of his hearing gone was life-altering. As a bilateral recipient, receiving cochlear implants gave him more than what I had lost. Today, I am proud to pay it forward to those who can benefit from the reliable innovations that deliver a lifetime of hearing outcomes. In my previous roles as a Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and an international activist, I strive to bring together people with hearing loss of all ages and empower them to lead full and active lives. Building connections is part of the core mission at Cochlear where we have helped more than 600,000 people hear and be heard.
Stephanie is a technology professional with 25+ years of industry experience, primarily in the telecom space. In 2020, she began exploring how technology can be leveraged to assist people with hearing loss. After learning how difficult it is for those who wear assistive listening to hear properly in public spaces, it became Stephanie’s passion to jump into action by helping this community hear clear and audible sound – directly to their ears. Her passion to help others has inspired her to dedicate her efforts in making a difference for the hard of hearing community. Stephanie strives to provide clients with knowledge and information to implement solutions that provide suitable accommodations for those that struggle to hear in public spaces. This advocacy results in the impact made through each project completed; as the true joy comes from seeing firsthand how hearing clearly can positively impact and change daily life. Stephanie lives in Halton Hills, Ontario with her family and three pets, and loves music, baseball and hiking.
♦ Studied Audiology/Hearing Aid Technology at Grant MacEwen University, Edmonton.
♦ 2 year’s work experience in a hearing aid dispensing clinic while studying to be a Practitioner.
♦ 10+ year’s working in the Audio-Visual industry both in live event production and systems integration.
♦ Diploma in Audio Engineering and Music Production from the Trebas Institute, Toronto.
♦ Avid, lifelong musician.
Dave and his family emigrated to BC in 2008 from London, England. His installation company installed over 1000 x hearing Loops in the UK over a 17 year period, so he is surprised to find that Canada is way behind the other G7 countries in the adoption of hearing loop technology.
In 2015 he started Auris Hearing Loops importing the British made hearing loops that he had used for over 17 years in the UK. Though initially it was tough going, there are now hundreds of loop systems installed mainly in BC. This was achieved by ‘hitting the road’ and demonstrating the systems and holding seminars with committed audiologists. His home town of Vernon, BC now has more loops installed per head of population than any other location in Canada.
Dave is more than delighted to partner with the CHHA to promote inclusion for the hard of hearing community with the help of hearing loops.
Bill Droogendyk, as owner of Better Hearing Solutions, has long been involved with CHHA as a supporter, exhibitor, presenter and Assistive Listening Technology provider. He is also a guest lecturer to UWO Audiology students and to Conestoga College and George Brown College HIS students. Better Hearing Solutions has been providing Assistive Listening Systems nationwide since 1983. We’re eager to help people break communication barriers at their favourite venues (houses of worship, meeting halls, theatres, auditoriums, stadiums) and at points of interaction (service and reception counters) – anywhere people connect to listen, to hear and to enjoy the sounds of life! We look forward to continuing to break sound barriers with you through our CHHA/GITHL connection.
Student Support Officer, Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities, Carleton University
Hunter has worked for the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) since 2012. She has a broad range of experience in providing program support to improve academic accessibility, including extensive experience coordinating classroom services for students that are deaf or hard of hearing. Hunter is passionate about her work, and has become an expert at providing patient and supportive guidance to instructors to improve accessibility while at the same time dispelling myths about students with disabilities and the role of academic accommodations and services in the classroom environment.
Laura Brawn, M. Psych.
Disabilities Coordinator, Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities,
For over 20 years, Laura Brawn has worked with students with disabilities to help them access academic accommodations and supports in order to adapt to the mainstream university environment while also developing essential individualized self-advocacy skills. She has a keen interest in the potential for enhancement of social inclusion via universal accessibility (instruction, evaluation and information) to reduce students’ need to adapt (and hopefully, put herself out of work). Laura completed a Master’s in Psychology at Carleton University. Her graduate research study investigated objective tests used to assess and document ADHD and LD in adults.
Karina Cotran is a Knowledge Management Specialist and author of one book – Hearing Differently: Growing Up with a Cochlear Implant. Living with profound to severe hearing loss since birth due to being born premature, Karina was raised in a hearing family and community in Ontario.
Karina is now a staunch accessibility advocate, writer and speaker. She is currently building Hearing Differently – a multi-faceted resource hub that bridges the gap between living with a disability and the impact it has on mindfulness, wellness and self-advocacy.
Dr. Juliëtte Sterkens
Dr. Juliëtte Sterkens Dutch born audiologist Juliëtte Sterkens has 40+ years of experience in the field of audiology and hearing rehabilitation. She is on her encore career as a consumer and hearing loop advocate for the American Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and frequently lectures to consumers and hearing professionals. Her efforts have led to 900+ hearing loops in Wisconsin, including some 500 places or worship, 35 theaters and thousands of loops around the country. For these efforts she has received numerous awards including the Wisconsin Audiologist of the Year and American Academy of Audiology Presidential Awards. She is a member of HLAA’s Get in the Hearing Loop (GITHL) National Taskforce and the Wisconsin State HLAA Board. She serves on the board of the HEAR in the Fox Cities; a non-profit that helps pay for hearing aids for children and teens in North-East Wisconsin.