ALDA Board

To contact anyone on the Board, please use www.alda.org/contact  Thank you

   Laura Sinclair – President

Achieving a BA (Psychology/Sociology UNH-Durham), my career includes medical underwriter and landscape design-firm owner.  During progressive, genetic deafness I raised two children with my husband of 38 years.  We now have a manufacturing business to allow family time and long trips on our Yamaha Super Tenere.  We use a Sena helmet system to communicate and navigate when I ride pillion. I have joined four ALDAcons and more hearing loss conventions since 1999.  I enjoy mentoring, advocating for loops and captioning, spreading awareness of new technology thru social media and personal connections. I served on the NH Commission for Hearing Loss 2007-2016 helping pass the 2011 insurance mandate providing coverage towards hearing aids for all ages, the NH Board of Licensure for Sign Language Interpreters for consecutive 3-yr terms as the oral-deaf member, and established ALDA Seacoast NH Group (2018). Not fluent in ASL, I use CART, T-coil and cochlear implants (2012/2014).

ALDA breathes energy and direction to the late-deafened who may have lost their social compass. There is a special bond between those who have had and lost.  We need encouragement to retain what we used to be able to do naturally.  If you need a helper to pull up your boot-straps and take the steps to live fully, we are this kind of people.  It is contagious! And there is room for all…those just starting the confounding journey through those born deaf.  We make discoveries amongst the briefest encounters with each other which we can then bring forward in our hearing world. Volunteerism is the highest calling with the highest reward.  To have started an ALDA group in NH (2018) and sit as a Regional Director (2019-2021) was inevitable. It was the least I could do for those who helped me reinvent, persist and learn how to advocate for change and awareness….plus, I enjoy a challenge!

During my term as president of ALDA, Inc. I hope to instill this passion more broadly and effectively.  There are so many in need of finding our outstretched hand.  I will seek input from fellow ALDAns more knowledgeful about technology and hearing devices, social media, and Chapter/Group organization.  The incoming board and committee seats are full of tested experience and new eyes to identify opportunities yet explored.  I’m excited to take this journey to lead ALDA to face these strategically with confidence and growth.  Feel free to connect with any of us who are dedicated to the future of ALDA.

   Ellen Perkins – Vice President

Hello! My name is Ellen Perkins and I’m hard of hearing and a lifelong resident of Massachusetts. I’m a proud graduate of the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and of Clark University with a certificate in Graphic & Web Design. I’m also an alumnus of the Peer Mentor Training Certificate Program at Gallaudet University and the N-CHATT [Network of Consumer Hearing Assistive Technology Trainers] – HLAA.

I have worked as a Hard of Hearing Skills Trainer at the Center for Living & Working, Inc. (CLW) for the last eleven years, serving as the assistant director of CLW’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independent Living Services (DHILS) program for the past year. I’ve presented on hearing loss, self-advocacy, and technology at HLAA national conventions and local HLAA and ALDA chapter events. I’ve also presented on legislative advocacy for local D/deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind constituents in the Commonwealth.

My community service and volunteer work include multiple roles supporting ALDA-Boston, serving as a mentor for Advanced Bionics, and as a Governor-appointed member of the Massachusetts Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s (MCDHH) Statewide Advisory Committee (SAC) since 2013.

Ellen grew up in a time when access and technology weren’t as advanced as they are today – learning about ALDA 10+ years ago was a game changer for me and I’m passionate about providing people with hearing loss the information and resources they need to live their best lives.

Hispanic male with salt and pepper hair shown with pink shirt and gray vest spiling at the camera.     Ken Arcia – Past President

Ken Arcia grew up in the Central Valley of California in Fresno. He became deaf at the age of 21 from Neurofibromatosis, Type II (NF-2). He first helped establish an HLAA (formerly known as SHHH) chapter in Fresno then found ALDA at a State HLAA conference in 1993. He has a BA in Psychology and also attended Graduate school at Fresno State. He has been a member of ALDA for 30 years, serving as Regional Director for Region 4 and also as previous President from 1999-2001 and then again from 2021-22. He has seen a lot of changes with ALDA, some good and some less successful.

When he graduated from Fresno State, he moved to the SF Bay Area and worked for several deaf-related organizations. He became fluent in ASL and uses CART or ASL interpreters when joining meetings with his hearing peers. In 2015, Ken left the SF Bay Area of California for a new job in Arizona and currently works with T-Mobile Accessibility and was previously at Deaf Counseling, Advocacy, and Referral Agency (DCARA)  He has also helped maintain our ALDA website and Social Media channels and considers himself a geek/nerd 🙂

Joe Linder  Joe Linder – Treasurer

Deaf since birth, Joe attended oral training classes starting at age 3 for a three-year period before being mainstreamed in a neighborhood school beginning with the first grade.  In spite of a lack of interpreters, Joe earned honors at the high school level. Following graduation, Joe attended the University of Notre Dame for four years and majored in Accounting. Immediately upon graduation, Joe started his banking career with Harris Trust & Savings Bank (aka BMO Harris Bank N.A.).  During that time, Joe served international and domestic corporate clients with lending and cash management needs and also earned an MBA degree in Finance through DePaul University.  

Joe has actively participated in ALDAcon conventions since his initial national convention in 2013 at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Joe has been a board member of the ALDA Chicago Chapter since 2010, including a 5-year stint as president.  Prior to getting involved with ALDA, Joe participated in various other organizations as a board member, namely HANDS organization, a Chicago-based deaf advocacy organization, during the 1990s including a stint as treasurer, and with Mendac organization, which helps with school-aged deaf children with mental health treatment, during the 2000s.  For the past 6 years, Joe has volunteered his time assisting deafened individuals with their income tax returns through the Chicago Hearing Society.

Joe is looking forward to using his financial background with the bank as well as his experience in other volunteer positions to benefit the ALDA national organization.

Tina Childress  Tina Childress – Secretary

Board Secretary Tina Childress, Au.D., CCC-A is an educational audiologist in mainstream and residential school settings, a technology and social media aficionado, a late-deafened adult fluent in ASL, and a bilateral cochlear implant recipient. With her unique perspective and passion for sharing information through social media, she is a sought out international presenter on a variety of topics but especially Hearing Assistive Technology, apps, cochlear implants, advocacy and effective strategies for coping with hearing loss. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign and the University of Memphis, and she has won a number of awards, including the Nancy Lee McKinley Leadership Mentoring Award, I. King Jordan Award for Distinguished Achievement, Cheryl DeConde Johnson Award, and the Oticon Focus on People Award Winner – Hearing Care Practitioner. Dr. Childress serves on many local and national boards and committees, including the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (National Advisory Group Member), Deaf Kids Code (Board Member), and Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Inc – TDI (Member at Large).  She is a strong advocate for accessibility and disseminating resources.

Debra Bare-Rogers  Debra Bare-Rogers – Region 1 Director

Debra was diagnosed with dual sensorineural hearing loss eight years ago and has struggled to learn how to communicate differently. She advocates for herself every day in order to better understand what people are saying. She has served on hearing loss-related boards in both California and Maine. Her professional experience includes outreach and education about phone relay, captions (yes, please!), and amplified devices – anything to improve communication access for hard of hearing and deaf individuals.  Her goal as Region 1 Director will be to provide support and resources to individuals who may be struggling.

 

 Sarah Wegley – Region 2 Director 

Sarah Wegley is hard of hearing. Her hearing loss was diagnosed in 2006. She was prescribed bilateral hearing aids which she has worn ever since. Sarah has been a member of ALDA Chicago since 2010. She has served on their board and also as website coordinator and social chair. Sarah’s service was recognized with the ALDA Chicago President’s Award in 2015. When ALDAcon was held in Milwaukee in 2016, she served as the Newcomers Chair and presented a workshop on communication. Sarah was awarded the AbleALDAn in 2017.

Sarah completed a Master’s degree in Communication and Training in 2016. Her passion in life is for facilitating clear communication and connection between people. As R2 director, she is looking forward to representing ALDA and bringing empathy, enthusiasm, positivity, and her trademark friendly smile to this role.

   Catherine Broadhead – Region 3 Director

Cat Broadhead has been a member of ALDA since 2018.  She went suddenly and profoundly deaf in December 2017 from viral meningitis and a rare form of an autoimmune disease called relapsing polychondritis.

Cat is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant and enjoys working with clients who are facing life changes or want to renew themselves.  She runs NeoHear.com, a website she founded to share practical resources with the deaf and hard of hearing community and encourage everyone to learn some easy sign language.

Cat also serves on the board of the Philander Chase Conservancy, in Gambier, Ohio.

 Michelle Donnelly – Region 4 Director

Michelle Donnelly is originally from the Chicago area where she first learned about ALDA. Michelle started losing her hearing at age 22 due to NF2 and started wearing CROS hearing aids in 2012. After hours of research, Michelle discovered ALDA and the many paths of support available.

She has been a member of ALDA Chicago since 2013 and has served on their board in various capacities; Social Chair, Outreach team and Accessibility/Technology workshop planner.

Michelle has an MBA from NIU and undergrad degrees in computer science and management. She works full-time as a corporate technology consultant. Michelle has also led corporate Diversity and Inclusion programs, specifically advocating for those that are hard of hearing and their friends/families.

Michelle now calls Arizona home and looks forward to sharing all that ALDA has to offer and helping to advocate for those that can thrive with a little support.