IListen Newsletter - Bulletin J'écoute
Message from the
Chair of the National Board of Directors

It has been a very busy month at CHHA in preparing of our re-opening of our new office and orientation of our new staff.

The CHHA Hiring Committee has completed their work and the board of directors are pleased to announce that Richard Plummer has been selected as the Director of Business Development and Operations from an excellent roster of candidates. Richard began his work with CHHA on Monday, July 6 at our Ottawa office. Please join me in welcoming Richard to the CHHA team! A brief biography of Richard is available in this newsletter. A big thank you to the Hiring Committee for their hard work: Christopher Sutton, Consultant, Sheila Serup (CHHA Director), Keegan Noxell (YAN representative), and Mike Eaton (community member).
In addition to Richard, we welcome two summer students – Danielle Perron and Adam Farhat. Adam will be working in the area of communications and Danielle will be working in the area of networks and membership. The CHHA office is now open; however, it is operating under the guidelines of Ontario Health Services, so please call for an appointment before visiting as drop in visits are not allowed at this time.
The CHHA national board of directors held an orientation session on June 23, 2020, for new and returning board members. The focus of the orientation was an overview of CHHA and financial education. As well, the Governance Committee was formed consisting of Jo Deluzio, Chair, David Leyton-Brown, Sheila Serup, and Trevor Kezwer (CHHA member). The Finance (Audit) Committee was also formed consisting of Christopher Arnold, Chair, and Daniel Tessier-Young. I will be an ex-officio member of these Committees. In addition, in the absence of an Executive Director, Sheila Serup was appointed the board liaison to the CHHA Foundation.
Now that the Director of Business Development and Operations position has been filled, the next step for the organization is to review the vacant Executive Director position. This will be a focus of the board of directors over the coming weeks.
I hope you have had an opportunity to participate in the CHHA webinars. We will be continuing to offer those over the coming months.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer. 
Marilyn J. Kingdon
Chair, CHHA National Board of Directors
Shining a Spotlight on CHHA's Volunteers
CHHA Volunteer - Christopher Arnold, National Treasurer, Kitchener, ON.

What motivated you to join CHHA?

I am very passionate about hearing health and all those impacted by it. I believe it’s right for me to give back as much as possible to all those that have helped me run a hearing aid and hearing health business. There is a lot of work to be done for hearing advocacy for those that are hard of hearing and I want to be a part of it. I also want to advocate how those without hearing challenges can protect their hearing.

Do you have any other board experience within CHHA or your community?

Since 2016, I have been on the Board of Directors for the AHIP (Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario), and in 2019, was nominated to Treasurer. In early 2019 I joined CHIPS (Canadian Hearing Instrument Practitioners Society, the federal version of AHIP) as a director and Ontario representative. Finally, in late 2018, I also joined Conestoga College's Program Advisory Committee for their Hearing Instrument Specialist program.

What experience do you hope to bring to the board?

As a business owner I believe I have the tools and skills to help in my position as Treasurer. I understand the importance of financial responsibility, but have the flexibility to adapt when the situation calls for it. I've also been in charge of marketing and social media for both my own business as well as AHIP and understand the importance of producing an engaging message.

What motivates you the most in what you do?

I love working with patients, supporting their hearing and communication needs. It’s extremely satisfying to know that every day I can help someone improve their life, even if its just a little.

What would you like to see the organization achieve in one year? Three years?

In the short term, I would like to bring more mainstream awareness to hearing loss. Hearing loss has started to become more prevalent in various forms of media, but I want to start eliminating the stigmas behind it. In three years, it would be great to be able to help those that cannot afford to hear better to obtain funding. I would love to help find a sponsor that would allow us to offer a program for those that need help with finances for better hearing.

Do you have a message you wish to share with the membership?

I am very excited to join CHHA as Treasurer. I promise that I will give it my all and dedicate myself to helping CHHA progress even further. Thank you for giving me this opportunity!

CHHA is indeed fortunate to have someone as dedicated as Christopher to be part of our ranks. Thank you for all you do!
Who is the Star in your community? Send us the details!

Shining A Spotlight on CHHA's Volunteers will give you the opportunity to recognize someone in your community.

Submissions should be less than 200 words and include a picture of the volunteer. Please forward to

In The Loop
Richard Plummer
CHHA Director Business Development & Operations
Please join us in welcoming Richard Plummer CHHA's Director of Business Development & Operations.

Richard brings a broad scope of operations management best practices and resource development strategies that will help build the capacity and impact of CHHA to support our members and the communities we serve.

As a management consultant to provincial and national organizations including Ottawa Independent Living Resource Centre, 211 Ontario, McConnell Foundation, Enterprise Non-Profits Canada and the Learning Disabilities Association, he has focused on breaking down system barriers and building partnerships for collective impact.

Having also worked at United Way to lead their Diversity and Inclusion Community Impact Strategies, Richard was instrumental in increasing investments and building community initiatives to increase accessibility and participation for people with disabilities in the labour market. Richard spent five years in the healthcare field, working for 2 of Canada’s largest Audiology/Hearing Health Care companies managing their clinic operations and improving patient care services.

As part of his continued support as a community volunteer, Richard also sits on the Board of Directors, the Centre for Social Enterprise Development, the Advisory Steering Committees for EARN ( Employment Accessibility Resource Network), Performance Plus Rehabilitation Employer Engagement, and Street Smart Learning/Youth Homeless Project.

Richard will be working out of the National Office in Ottawa and can be reached directly at:
CHHA Summer Students
Danielle Perron - Project
CHHA Administration Officer.

Danielle will be returning in her 4th year at the University of Ottawa this fall. She is studying in a joint honours program in Sociology and Feminist and Gender Studies, focusing on Disability.

She is here to apply her lived experience as well as her academic interest in a work environment. Her goal is to be someone who ‘gives a voice’ to persons with disabilities. Danielle was mainstreamed in elementary school until grade 6. Then, she spent three years in a deaf/blind school, where she learned sign language. This boosted her confidence, which prepared her to re-enter a mainstream high school in preparation for university—making these connections in the Deaf/hard of hearing community assisted in finding her voice. She now wants to do the same for others. This experience has helped her embrace who she is as a unique person instead of just feeling different. Standing out no longer intimidates her!
Adam Farhat - CHHA Communications Specialist .

Adam is Social Work student at Carleton University. After working for eight years in business and IT, Adam decided it was time to change careers. He wanted a profession where he could impact vulnerable populations and the structural barriers that exist within society.

Adam looks forward to learning more about advocacy work at CHHA while utilizing his business development and marketing skills to help support the team. When Adam is not working or in school, he likes to spend his spare time with friends and family, learning new skills and keeping active.

During the pandemic, Adam has been learning how to play the piano and has played tennis with family and friends to keep active and remain socially distanced.
Young Adults Network Corner
Disability Tax Credit, Briefly
By Clovis Bernard

With the possibility of a one-time financial aid coming down the government pipeline, some may wonder how you can get this. If this assistance bill passes, you will need to be qualified for Disability Tax Credit, which allows you access to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) and government grants/bonds.

The understanding and awareness of DTC can be murky at times with regards to its eligibility criteria. At the same time, it is reasonable that a person with hearing loss, it would qualify you for something called a disability tax credit.
In Other News...
Western University students' lip-reading masks a huge help for hearing-impa i red
Western University graduate students Matthew Urichuk and Taylor Bardell were grocery shopping when they first noticed how difficult it was to understand each other while wearing face masks.

The two PhD students in communications sciences and disorders wondered if it was tough for them to communicate, what must it be like for people who are hearing impaired?

For the Deaf, Social Distancing Can Mean Social Isolation
Masks, enforced social distance and other public health measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus pose unique challenges... 

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