ALDA Board


Ken Arcia - President

I have been a member of ALDA for over 25 years. I was also Regional Director for Reg 4 and the President over 20 years ago. I have seen a lot of changes with ALDA, some have been good and some not so good. I hope we can continue the work of the Social Media Committee in reaching out to our past members encouraging them to rejoin. We also need to continue to do outreach with Veterans, Seniors, Middle-aged and even younger adults. We need to let them know that we are here and available as they navigate the world with a hearing loss. I know we have a great team in the Board and our volunteers as well. I hope to continue that. I know that 2020 has been a hard year and I hope the future will be better for those of us with hearing loss.


Carrie Levin - Vice President

I am running for VP because my values in helping others align with ALDA & where I believe my contributions can help bring out the best in us.   Born with a progressive hearing loss, I have bilateral CIs and I am late deafened.    I attended Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS degree in Packaging Science and where I received invaluable support from NTID.   I worked in Silicon Valley as a manufacturing & packaging engineer for 10+ yrs.  During that time I was a Board member of the local SHHH chapter (now HLAA) before I settled down and homeschooled our 2 sons.  In the past 10 years, I've been an active member and past President of ALDA San Jose;  I’m now organizing online monthly meetings with guest speakers.  I volunteer on the Board for DeafTechEd,  mentor late deafened adults, and an advocate for captioning rights.  


Richard (Rick) Brown - Past President

Richard S. Brown retired as the Chief Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on September 1, 2015.  He was the last original member of the court of appeals, having begun on August 1, 1978, 37 years before.  At the time of his retirement, he served on the Administration of Justice committee of the Council of Chief Judges of State Court of Appeals.  He is active in the ABA.  He was on the Nominating Committee and, therefore, the House of Delegates where  he was a member  of the House Technology and Communications Committee.  Prior to that, he served on the Commission on Disability Law from 1992-98 (He was chair from 1995-98 under a former name) and served another term from 2008 -2011.  He was a member of the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs from 2012 to 2015.  He was also co-chair of the IR&R Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and  its advocacy of Amicus Briefs.  He, along with Professor Alex Hurder of Vanderbilt, founded the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities under the auspices of the Committee.  Judge Brown has a B.A. from Miami University, a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an L.L.M. from the University of Virginia. He interned with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division and was part of the team which worked on the Georgia Power case.  He was an Assistant District Attorney in Racine Wisconsin from 1971-1973 and was in a private practice general litigation firm in Oshkosh until elected to the bench. He taught Decision Making Skills at the National Judicial College for 15 years and also taught “Daubert and the use of Scientific Testimony”  He has also been a guest lecturer to judges in 40 states on the ADA and disability law.   He is on the Board of Visitors to the University of Wisconsin Law School and, until retirement, was Co-Author and Revision Editor of “Standards of Review in Wisconsin” (State Bar CLE). He has published five articles in legal journals. Judge Brown was a member of the Wisconsin Judicial Council from 1983-1986, was co-chair of the Wisconsin Committee on Use of Technology in the Courtroom, was chair of the Small Claims Revision Committee, was Chair of the Committee on Interpretation in the Courtroom and was also a member of the Wisconsin Committee on Racial and Gender Bias.  He was also a member of several committees of the National Center of State Courts.  He was the Chair of the Succession Planning Workgroup of the Wisconsin State Bar and was also a committee member of an initiative to introduce young lawyers to the benefits of rural practice and providing legal services to underserved communities in Wisconsin. He lost the hearing in his right ear to measles at age 5 and his left ear to an acoustic neuroma at age 36.  He received his first cochlear implant, a single channel House device, in 1980.  He was the 69th person to receive an implant.  He upgraded to a Cochlear 22 in 1989 and to a Nucleus 24 in 2010.


Matt Ferrara - Treasurer

Matt has extensive experience with non-profit organizations financial systems. Over the past 23 years, he has been ALDA’s treasurer for fourteen years. He has been appointed to complete the terms of treasurers on several occasions. Between his terms as treasurer, Matt served as regional director for three years. He is also ALDA’s advertising director. In addition, Matt has been the business manager/treasurer for twelve ALDAcons, and the co-business manager for two other ALDAcons. Beyond his work for ALDA national, Matt is the treasurer of ALDA-Boston and the home owners’ association where he lives. A graduate of Brooklyn College, Matt is retired from Partners Healthcare Systems (Massachusetts General Hospital).  He is hard of hearing and depends on two hearing aids. Matt has been married to his wife, Helen, for twenty years now. They have five children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Tina Childress - Secretary

Tina Childress, Au.D., CCC-A is an educational audiologist in mainstream and residential school settings, technology and social media aficionado, 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 and adjunct lecturer to families, adults and professionals on a variety of topics but especially Hearing Assistive Technology, apps, cochlear implants, advocacy and effective strategies for coping with hearing loss. Dr. Childress is active on many local and national Boards and Committees where she is a strong advocate for accessibility and disseminating resources.


Laura Sinclair - Region 1 Director

Achieving a BA (Psychology/Sociology UNH-Durham), my career included medical underwriter and landscape design firm owner. During progressive, genetic deafness I raised two children with my husband of 35 years. We now have a manufacturing business to allow family-time, adventure and long trips on our Yamaha Super Tenere. We use a Sena helmet system to communicate as I ride pillion. Having joined four ALDAcons and more hearing loss conventions since 1999, I enjoy mentoring, advocating for loops and captioning, and 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 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).


Diane McDonagh - Region 2 Director

Diane McDonagh has been profoundly deaf since birth due her mother contracting German measles during pregnancy. Diane has been teaching for nearly 39 years at North Hennepin Community College as a full time professor and Augsburg University as a part-time professor. Diane became an author in 2015 with the publishing of her textbook, That’s ASL: Visualization of American Sign Language, Edition II. She is planning to release another book in the near future about her life and experiences as a deaf individual. Diane has two wonderful children and four grandchildren, all of whom are hearing. She is expecting two additional grandchildren in March 2020.  Diane’s favorite saying is “never give up”.  


Larry Kavanaugh - Region 3 Director

·       I'm originally from New Jersey.

·       My severe Bilateral Hearing Loss was discovered at age eight. I wore Hearing Aids since High School.

·       B.S. Degree in Special Education for the Hearing Impaired.

·       Member of ALDA and HLAA (SHHH) for over 25 years.

·       In 1996, I joined the HLAA Florida Board of Trustees, published the NewsFLASHHH newsletter, and was State Chapter Coordinator.

·       In 2014, I retired from a large resort/entertainment company in Central Florida, after 30 years as a Trainer/Facilitator/Tour Guide/Disability Advocate.

·       I joined the N-CHATT Assistive Technology Training Team in 2017.

·       In 2018, I received my first Hearing Implant. I'm now bi-modal.

·       My first ALDAcon was Orlando 2017; I 'Continued with Portland 2018, Kansas City 2019, and I look forward to seeing everyone in Niagara Falls 2021. We'll go over the Falls in a barrel of fun!


David Baldridge - Region 4 Director

I am a Professor at Oregon State University and longtime ALDA member. ALDA continues to be a HUGE part of my journey through deafness and my extended family. Michell Yook continues to do a fantastic job as our Region 4 representative. I am running in hopes of brining new perspectives and experiences to build on her great work. I believe that ALDA is strongest when we all take turns stepping-up and share leadership. As a professor, I focus on teaching young professionals and researching the full inclusion of people with hearing loss. I am also very active in other organizations such as the State of Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Advisory Committee and the Oregon Communication Access Project, and very accustomed to using technology to bridging people from distant locations. I hope these experiences will help ALDA grow, attract new members, and enrich the lives of existing members.