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

The ad hoc CHHA Organizational Review Committee held their first meeting in October, which generally outlined the committee's work and reviewed the terms of reference. The board of directors believes the review is important to remove obstacles to networks in their engagement with CHHA.

Historically, participation in CHHA has been through Branches and Chapters that can be very formal in how they are organized and governed. Sometimes these requirements have created barriers for engagement and have overtaxed some existing regional groups in their participation with CHHA. This committee is looking at models that would allow people to participate in a much less formal and easier way throughout their regions if that is their wish.
The board of directors is currently preparing for their meeting in the second week of November. We will hold another board meeting later in November to review the strategic plan developed last year.  

Enjoy your Halloween - whatever it may look like in your community this year.

Keep safe and well.  

Marilyn J. Kingdon
Chair, CHHA National Board of Directors
Shining a Spotlight on CHHA's Volunteers
CHHA Volunteer- Lee Ramsdell
How long have you been a member of CHHA and what network are you a member of? 

I joined CHHA in May of 2013. I am associated with the Edmonton Branch 

What motivated you to join CHHA? 

What motivated me to join is that I was the Western Canadian Representative for a national company that distributed AV equipment to end sellers. Among the various products that sold was hearing assistive products. The National Convention was in Edmonton, and I had a customer that was showing some assistive listening equipment and wanted to see his display and at the trade show, and the only way Karla Wilson would let me in was to join CHHA, so I did. I didn’t know anything about CHHA, and while I was aware that I had some hearing loss, I didn’t know how much loss I had. I went to a presentation, and as it was captioned, I discovered that my hearing loss was significant.  

What’s your current position and how long have you been in this position? 

My current position is President and I have held that position since May of 2017. 

What is your favourite part about volunteering?

CHHA Edmonton is fortunate in that Cindy Gordon and Marilyn Kingdon founded it, and our branch is very active thanks to their efforts and vision. CHHA Edmonton has had a member sit on the Alberta Safety Code Council as part of the Barrier-Free Sub Council, which is a policy-driven sub-council and provide input to the Government of Alberta to make our province as safe as possible. We have made a difference, and one example of that is thanks to Cindy’s input, visual fire alarms became mandatory when she sat on this board. CHHA Edmonton has been influential in raising awareness of hearing in public areas, and as a result, we are seeing an increase in barrier-free hearing solutions across the province and the Administrator for the Alberta Safety Council has been working with NRC to change the building code  

In what capacity do you currently volunteer for your network?

Aside from being the President, my volunteer work is centred around barrier-free hearing solutions. I do presentations at public events and advise organizations on how to provide barrier-free hearing solutions and, when requested, design solutions that include hearing loops ( our favourite system), IR systems, audio streaming to cell phones and sometimes FM solutions.  

What is your vision for CHHA?  

CHHA Edmonton has a social enterprise and designs solutions and sells products. In addition when an installation is required, I become the project manager for these projects. Our branch has developed a great working relationship with the City of Edmonton and as a result, there are many places where barrier free hearing is now in place. The City of Edmonton has hearing loops in many places and the Edmonton Business Tower, City Hall (meeting rooms, Council Chambers and service counter), all recreation centres and the Public Libraries. We have managed to loop a number of live theatres and a number of churches. 

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

My vision for CHHA is to be recognized in the same way that CNIB and the Heart and Stroke Foundations are. As a collective group, we represent a large population yet we struggle to be recognized as our issue is an invisible challenge. 

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

My message to all members across Canada is to ask for barrier free hearing solutions and wherever possible to ask for a hearing loop. These devices should be installed in all critical care facilities including hospitals, pharmacies and ambulances. Other places includes transportation depots, buses, trains, police stations, and point of sale stations. 

CHHA is indeed fortunate to have someone as dedicated as Lee 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
Warm welcome to the CHHA National Team!

Claira Calderone  
Manager, Fundraising & Community Engagement
Claira Calderone's BA in communications at Carleton University and certification in Marketing only strengthened her initial Alma Cum Laude Couturier degree from the house of Richard Robinson Academy.

With 17+ years of experience in event planning, coordinating, and producing an array of social occasions; such as corporate events, fundraisers, festivals and weddings, it led Claira to obtain a certification in digital marketing and social media branding.
Claira’s growth led her to dive deeper into her philanthropic passion and grow in the areas of fundraising.

With an applied mindset, she has dedicated over eight years to local community fundraising initiatives
and two years of concentrated philanthropic enterprising.

Claira continues to petition for change in her current role and learn from the ever-evolving forms and trends in digitization and fundraising.

Adam Farhat
Program Coordinator
Adam Farhat started working at CHHA as a summer student, and now we are excited to have him back in a new role as Program Coordinator. 

Prior to CHHA, Adam had been in the IT industry, working in various Finance, Operations, and Business Development roles. Now, Adam is in the process of shifting his career focus, and is currently a third-year student in Carleton’s Bachelor of Social Work Program.  Adam is looking forward to assisting the team in various projects that will help promote and foster a more accessible culture across the country.
Hearing Loss & COVID-19
The University of Alberta is investigating the challenges (e.g., schooling, employment, etc.) facing individuals with hearing loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This survey should take less than 20 minutes to complete. Individuals 18 years of age and older for this study who have a hearing loss interested in participated in the survey see link below
  1. Lipreading is a critical communication tool.
  2. Hearing loss is exhausting.
  3. Hearing loss is truly invisible.
  4. Self-care is critical for good hearing.
  5. Self-advocacy is the key to success.

Founder Shari Eberts Living with Hearing Loss shares insights on lessons learned about hearing loss and the pandemic. Read more.
Mark your Calendars
Join us as we celebrate #GivingTuesdayCA
on December 1st.
CHHA Member Discount
CHHA Members be sure to enter code
CHHA10 at checkout to save!
When purchasing your
"Access Mask"
Young Adults Network Corner
The Importance of Removing Communication Barriers
By Keegan Noxell

As we continue to navigate our daily lives with COVID-19 present, it is important as ever to continue advocating and raising awareness on the barriers faced by those of us with hearing loss. The primary barrier being access to communication.
In Other News...

World Hearing Day
WHO Informational Webinar on the World Report on Hearing and World Hearing Day

WHO is holding an on-line webinar: Glimpse into the World Report on Hearing – Launch of World Hearing Day Advocacy Materials  November 3 or 4 (the session is being repeated twice).  The webinar’s purpose is to launch the World Hearing Day 2021 information products and share information about the World Report on Hearing and its call to action. 

The World Health Organization is pleased to invite you to join the webinar: Glimpse into the World Report on Hearing – Launch of World Hearing Day Advocacy Materials

The purpose of the webinar is to:
  • Launch the World Hearing Day 2021 information products
  • Inform about the World Report on Hearing and its call to action
  • Share examples of planned launch events and activities
  • Invite all EHC stakeholders to plan World Hearing Day events that create action at political level.
(613) 526-1584
75 rue Albert Street
Suite/bureau 901
Ottawa, ON K1P 5E7