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VOICE Virtual Conference 2021: Connect, Collaborate & Celebrate!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Annual VOICE Conference: Connect, Collaborate & Celebrate! If you weren't able to join us this year, stay tuned for details regarding out 2022 Conference! 

Learn more about the incredible speakers we had join us this year below: 

Pam Millett, PhD, Reg CASLPO

Dr. Millett has been an educational and clinical audiologist for over 30 years in school boards in Ontario and Alberta, and is currently an Associate Professor and Academic Coordinator in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education Program at York University.  Her areas of research are in educational audiology and accommodations for postsecondary education (with a recent focus on the use of automated speech-to-text captioning).  She was awarded Honours of the Association for the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists in 2015.

Connie Mayer, EdD, OCT

Dr. Mayer is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University in Toronto, Canada where she works in the graduate programs in Education, Linguistics, and Critical Disability Studies, and is co-academic co-ordinator in the teacher preparation program in the education of deaf students. Prior to coming to York, Dr. Mayer worked for more than twenty years as a consultant, administrator and teacher of deaf students from preschool through postsecondary. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education and for the Volta Review, and a member of the editorial board of the American Annals of the Deaf and the Reading Research Quarterly. Her current research focuses on language and literacy development in deaf learners, early literacy and early intervention, cochlear implantation, bilingualism, and models of teacher education.

Dr. Lindsay Cockburn

Dr. Lindsay Cockburn is a paediatric audiologist in Los Angeles, California and the creator of the blog Listen With Lindsay. She created Listen With Lindsay to connect with professionals and parents of deaf and hard of hearing children to support and encourage one another. She currently is the Clinical Coordinator for the Doctor of Audiology program at California State University, Northridge.

Karen MacIver-Lux, MA, Aud(C), Reg CASLPO, LSLS Cert. AVT

Karen MacIver-Lux, MA, Aud(C), Reg CASLPO, LSLS Cert. AVT is President and CEO of SoundIntuition, a Canadian company that provides online training, conferences, and consulting for professionals around the world who work with children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. She is also Co-Founder of Thrive Together, where she provides a variety of auditory learning services in the Greater Toronto Area and Vaughan. Formerly, she was Coordinator of Clinical Services at the Learning to Listen Foundation, of which she is a graduate. Karen served as director of the Board of Auditory-Verbal International Inc. and was honored by Maclean’s magazine as one of the top 100 Canadians.


Wendy D. Visser, MEd, Dipl. AV Studies

Wendy D. Visser, MEd, Dipl. AV Studies, is an itinerant teacher of children with hearing loss at the Ottawa District School Board, in Ontario, Canada. She is also a Course Consultant for SoundIntuition. Wendy has been a teacher for 23 years and her career has involved being a classroom teacher, itinerant resource teacher, teacher of children with autism, and her current role. Visser has provided workshops and specialized Ministry of Education training through the Special Education Department at the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Valli Vida Gideons, Author & Advocate

Valli Gideons is an author, military wife, speaker, and mother of two thriving teens who were born with hearing loss. With a degree in journalism, she transitioned from everyday stories to sharing her family's hearing loss journey. To date, her work has reached millions of people across multiple platforms. With an engaged community made up of parents and leaders in the field of the deaf and hard of hearing, she is passionate about her role as advocate and champion of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Valli is also a staff writer for multiple publications and the author of the Amazon #1 New Release book, “Now Hear This: Harper Soars with her Magic Ears.” Click here to view it on Amazon!

When she is not writing or carpooling to and from a sports gym or field, you can find her walking her two rescue pups along the beach trail. You can follow more of this family’s journey here: www.mybattlecall.com or on Facebook/Instagram @MyBattleCall

My Battle Call | There's No One-Size-Fits-All Way

Shawna Akerman, ECE, B.Ed., M.Ed, FIS, OCT

Shawna Akerman brings her expertise and passion for hope to her psychotherapy practice drawing from her special education experience as a parent and educator. Her zest for advocacy and equality guide her support for individuals or families through challenging life transitions. Shawna‘s desire to support and guide children and families towards positivity and balancing life has been the cornerstone of practice. Her continued passion to bring kids together for social experiences and honest conversations builds confidence through emotional regulation. She thrives on the opportunity to empower her clients to find real change. She believes it takes a community to raise children and that creation, supports the work to move though challenges collaboratively. Her experience navigating her family through the challenges of life - divorce, bullying, disabilities, and the unexpected passing of her brother - has empowered her to never lose touch with herself. She has established a unique network of organizations and friends to support people with neurodiversity (disabilities) and relies on her unique ability to think outside the box. These creative and unique ideas, driven by her passion to help others can be accessed to guide success in reaching your own potential.

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