ALDAcon 2017 Program Schedule


Wednesday October 11

8:00 am – 5:00 pm             ALDA Board Meeting                                Expressions I

3:00 pm – 5:30 pm            Registration Open                                       Majestic Foyer

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm            Welcome Reception                     Enchanted & Terrace      


Thursday October 12

6:30am – 9:00 am              Registration Open                                     Majestic Foyer

7:00 am – 8:15 am             Newcomers Breakfast                              Grand I

8:45 am – 10:00 am          Unleashing the Possibilities                   Grand III

Kathy Taylor and Kathleen Mannion

Workshop will consist of providing in depth personal experience of working with a Hearing dog provided by Canine Companion for Independence. PowerPoint presentation of experiences of attending Team Training in Santa Rosa CA as well as Orlando FL. Will also be conducting live demo on the skills of a Hearing dog such as dropping an item, a co-worker calling name, alerting to a telephone, doorbell etc.

8:45 am – 10:00 am          How to Spin 27 Plates                                          Grand V

Tina Childress and Karen Putz              

This workshop is being given by two women who have spun many plates (often at the same time) in their lifetime professionally and personally.  Discover how your passion(s) can lead to not only personal fulfilment but sometimes also a career.   Learn some tips for how to juggle it all and not lose your mind.   Finally, we will discuss the importance of finding your tribe and the benefits of being a mentor or mentee.

10:30 am – 11:45 am        Cochlear Implant Panel                                       Grand III

Karalee Needelman, Advanced Bionics; Virgi Mills, Med-El; Brandy Harvey, Cochlear Americas

Representatives of Cochlear Implant producers will describe their products and inform the audience of updates and new technologies.

10:30 am – 11:45 am        Let Your Better Self Guide You                         Grand V

Linda Drattell. Ken Arcia, Jim Laffer, Bernie Palmer, Jane Schlau, Wendy Ting

Losing one’s hearing is often negatively perceived – by ourselves, families, friends, acquaintances and the outside world. Many are consumed by documented stages of grief. How we view ourselves reinforces how others view us, and vice versa. This workshop, presented as a round-table discussion, shares success stories each presenter has experienced attributed to their becoming deafened – obtaining desired careers, completing advanced degrees, becoming community leaders and advocates – and how their positive perceptions about themselves shaped other people’s perceptions around them. Attendees are encouraged to reflect upon their own experiences and identify positives, ask presenters questions and share stories.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm          Lunch                                                                         Grand I & II 

Welcome Ceremonies-     Lois Maroney, Planning Chair

                                                Bill Graham, Planning Chair

                                                Mark Jones,  Accessibility & Services for Guests                                                                                                with Disabilities at Disney World

                                                Sharaine Rawlinson Roberts, ALDA President                                               

            Sponsor Recognition –      Kathy Schleuter,  Sponsor Chair

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm            Exhibitor Dessert Reception                              Majestic

Enjoy dessert while visiting the ALDAcon exhibitors and Silent Auction tables.

1:30 pm – 5:00 pm            Exhibits & Silent Auction Open                         Majestic

 2:45 pm – 4:00 pm            You Too Can Travel the World                          Grand III

Roy Miller and Carol Sliney

We will throughout this presentation provide a variety of information and tips potentially useful for travelers, be they simply spending a weekend at Disney World, taking a vacation in Alaska, spending a week in London, Paris, or Rome, or relaxing on a cruise to the Caribbean.  We will include information concerning planning, packing, transportation, lodging, food, money management, safety, and potentially useful travel apps.  There will be something for everyone! This workshop will be as interactive as possible, with attendees leaving better prepared to travel anywhere in the world while both enjoying the experience and protecting their own safety.

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm             Career Success after Hearing Loss                    Grand V

David Baldridge

This workshop examines career success among people who are Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing. We will begin by briefly reviewing research on career success in the general population and then turn to Dr. Baldridge’s current research on career success after hearing loss, and participants’ own employment experiences. We will discuss the types of jobs, tasks, and organizational contexts in which people with hearing loss are more likely to be successful. We will also discuss day to day behaviors associated with workplace success including management of supervisors, coworkers, and accommodations.

4:45 pm                                Meet in lobby for chartered bus to Cirque de Soleil

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm            Cirque de Soleil (optional, separate tickets required)

Cirque de Soleil's "La Nouba" poster

Cirque de Soleil’s “La Nouba”


Friday October 13

8:00 am – 9:00 am             Registration Open                                     Majestic Foyer

8:30 am – 12:00 N              Exhibits & Silent Auction Open                         Majestic

12:30pm – 5:00 pm           Exhibits & Silent Auction Open                         Majestic

 8:30 am –  9:45 am            Hearing Loss: Global Condition                         Grand III

Gerard de Vijlder and Georgia van de Gen

The presentation will give an insight in the lives of sudden deafened people in Europe. What’s life like if you are deaf, where do people work , how do they communicate…what are their rights and what laws provide for their needs, if any.

We wish to share with you what it’s like to be sudden deaf in Europe. We will guide you through several European countries and take you on a knowledge trip.  Some of our experiences are our own and we shall also be presenting facts and figures from a recent research regarding the situation of sudden and late deafened people in Europe. Also, we’re proud to share a short film on the subject.

 8:30 am – 9:45 am             Emergency and Disaster Prep                            Grand V

Chris Littlewood

Emergencies and disasters can strike anyone and anywhere. Because of demographics, political changes, economics, and other factors it is no longer a matter of “if”, but more “when?” This workshop will discuss the additional challenges people who are deaf or hard of hearing may face in an emergency or disaster and how to best prepare for them. It will also be explained the importance of working with others who have access and functional needs and with different groups for preparedness efforts. This is important because people who are deaf or hard of hearing may also have other disabilities or other functional needs like anyone else. This workshop has been delivered before but will include updates and changes in best practices. Repeat attendance is encouraged

10:15 am – 11:30 am        Leadership Program                                             Grand III

ALDA Board

This workshop will share information with ALDA leaders and interested leaders. The focus will be the ALDA website development and chapter/group development issues.

10:15 am – 11:30 am        Beginning Sign Language                                     Grand IV

Tess Crowder

This workshop is for ALDAcon attendees interested in learning sign language. This workshop will focus on beginning sign language skills.

  10:15 am – 11:30 am        Save, Serve, Solve: Audiology                            Grand V

Page Cresawn,  Robyn Abernathy and Kelly Kovach, Aud.D.

Come along with three staff Vocational Rehabilitation Audiologists as we take you on a journey of what a day in a life looks like to be US. Our unique model of Audiology serves Alabamians whom are deaf and hard of hearing. We implement unique solutions and technology to assist these deserving consumers in their respective workplaces and collegiate environments. We would love to see this model take hold in states across the country as we strive to meet with “three S’s!” Join with is as we show you how we aim to SAVE money, SERVE consumers, and SOLVE hearing dilemmas.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm          I. King Jordan Award Luncheon                         Grand I & II

Due to Dr. Jordan’s travel requirements, the I. King Jordan Award will be presented at this lunch session.  Dr. Jordan will provide a presentation and the winner of the I. King Jordan Award will be announced.

 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm             ALDA and Advocacy                                              Grand III

John Waldo

ALDA has in the past proved itself to be an effective advocate on behalf of its members to increase accessibility to public life for people with hearing loss. Education and persuasion are our preferred tools, but ALDA has not been shy about going to court when nothing else works. We’ll review ALDA’s efforts from the past year, and discuss a new approach to legal advocacy called Structured Negotiation that can actually create ongoing relationships. This kind of work will become increasingly important as the Department of Justice, which has been a powerful and effective ally, will likely prioritize other issues.

2:00 pm – 3:15 pm            Late Deafened Adult Hearing Loss                   Grand V

Alice Crume

The narrative of the presenter’s hearing loss includes (1) the impact in relationships with family, intimates, and work, (2) the mental steps of denial, resentment, and anger and (3) the sets of increasingly stronger hearing aids over 20+ years.  The conclusion presents her experience in communication strategies for a more peaceful mental and physical acceptance by the use of added assistive hearing loss devices and innovative cellphone apps.

2:00 pm – 3:15 pm            Intermediate Sign Language                              Grand IV

Tess Crowder

This workshop is for intermediate signers. People who have completed beginning level sign language and wish to improve their skills

3:45 pm – 5:00 pm             ALDA General Business Meeting                      Grand III

Sharaine Rawlinson Roberts, President

The ALDA Board of Directors will share the accomplishments of the past year and provide reports on committee activities.  This is also the opportunity for members to make motions to provide direction or future activities of the board.

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm             Cocktail Reception (Cash Bar)        Enchanted & Terrace

6:30 pm– 10:00 pm           Awards Banquet                                                    Grand I & II

Annual awards will be presented to ALDA members and supporters. These awards are decided by the ALDA Board of Directors based on nominations from the membership for selected awards.   Entertainment for this evening will be provided by Matthew “Magic” Morgan and his wife, Liliana.

Matthew "Magic" Morgan & wife, Liliana

Matthew “Magic” Morgan & wife, Liliana


Saturday October 14

8:00 am – 9:00 am             Registration Open                                     Majestic Foyer

9:00 am – 11:30 am          Exhibits Open                                                         Majestic

9:00 am – 10:30 am          Silent Auction Open                                             Majestic

9:00 am – 10:15 am          Genealogy                                                                Grand III

Debbe Hagner                   

.  Topics covered in this workshop include

  • What is genealogy?
  • How to get started: an explanation of the basic rules of recording genealogy – names, dates and places
  • Organizing your family genealogy — introduction on the pedigree chart and family group record
  • An on-hands exercise where seminar participants record their family history to a pedigree chart and family group record
  • How to use the documents you find at home and from relatives
  • Internet connections to help you in your research

9:00 am – 10:15 am          Magic 101                                                               Grand IV

 Magic Morgan

Are you interested in learning how magic tricks are done?  Do you have an obsessive yearning to know how the “impossible” becomes “possible”?  Do you have a strong desire to better understand what you see during a magic performance?  If you answer “yes” to any of these questions then this workshop is a “must” for you to attend.

9:00 am – 10:15 am          Use it or Lose it                                                      Grand V

 Sheiladawn Fitch

Weekly, while mentoring others with hearing loss, I encounter countless attitudes of “what I’ve lost, what I can’t do, and nothing will ever be normal again”.

My talk is geared to make these feelings turn into a more positive and goal oriented life.  My goal is to bring to reality what one still has, and to utilize it to its fullest.

I truly believe that when people change their attitude on their hearing loss, find their positives, and start to share it with others, that it is in fact like a chain reaction, and while they are trying to help others, they end up helping themselves.

10:45 am – 12:00 pm        Should we Embrace Cyborg Identity               Grand III

David Coco

The body hacking movement believes that technology can be used to both fix broken body parts and enhance capabilities of normal human bodies.  Body hackers are implanting cameras, computer chips, and more into their bodies and donning bizarre wearable tech to change their abilities.  Many of these body hackers are proudly identifying themselves as cyborgs.  Can late deafened adults learn something about self-identity from body hackers?  This community dialogue will discuss the ethics, identify, and technology control issues surrounding the body hacking movement, and explore how these issues might be connected to late deafened adults.

10:45 am – 12:00 pm        Self-Advocacy in Your State                               Grand V       

Michele Michaels  and Sherri Collins

The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing is a recognized leader amongst governmental organizations for persons with hearing loss in the United States.  From newborn hearing screening legislation to mandating that information about telecoils be given to each person who purchases a hearing aid in Arizona, ACDHH is a model for how advocacy and systems change on a state level can be accomplished.  ACDHH has created and delivers a 2-hour Healthcare Curriculum Training as well as a 2-hour Public Safety Personnel Curriculum Training across Arizona.  Every May ACDHH shines the spotlight on role models in the Arizona hard of hearing community and every holiday season, ACDHH’s Noisy Toys campaign reaches hundreds of thousands of Arizonans via social media, television, radio, and print.  Arizona is fortunate to count amongst its citizens a large contingency of empowered and educated grassroots advocates who have hearing loss, along with many hearing allies.  From looping to improving communication access at cultural facilities, over 1 million Deaf and hard of hearing Arizonans benefit from the advocacy by ACDHH and local consumer advocates.  Yet there is still more to be done in Arizona, the U.S, and in other countries.  This session will teach you how to replicate the same type of advocacy in your area.

12:00 pm – 8:00 pm          Free time for all attendees.

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm                              Free movie (Wonderstruck) for ALDAcon attendees.  

The movie will be shown at AMC theater in Disney Springs.  To obtain a ticket, you must RSVP to an invitation that will be sent out by ALDA.

"Wonderstruck" movie poster

Wonderstruck – Open-Captioned movie at ALDAcon 2017 on 10/14 at 2 PM.

8:00 pm – 12:00 am          Karaoke Party                                                         Grand I & II

Be ready to pick your favorites songs from the past and grab a microphone to sing/sign/gesture/shout with your ALDA colleagues.


Sunday October 15

 8:00 am – 10:00 am          Farewell Breakfast                                                Grand I & II

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