Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Part II - The People I Meet - 2009 HLAA Convention

Here are a few more pictures from the Convention. I don't want to leave anyone out but I didn't get pictures of all the new people I met there.Barbie & Ken (Sunny & Captain Mark Brogan)
I finally got to meet Mark's wife in person at the Convention. She is a sweetheart! And is so supportive and understanding of Mark's hearing loss. They make the cutest couple, don't you think?!!!
Sandy Cohen, Director of the Library Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing at the Nashville Public Library
Sandy has a BIG heart for the deaf & hard of hearing. She has worked hard for 10+ years at the Nashville Library to make sure that the deaf & hard of hearing have access to EVERYTHING they need. You name it, she has it. The Nashville Library Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing is the largest resource on this side of the Mississippi River. If you are ever in Nashville, this is a "must-see" activity, as well as the rest of the library, which is a gorgeous facility in the heart of Downtown Nashville.
Thom Roberts and I
Thom is the Executive Director for the TN Council for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing, which meets four times a year. I met him two years ago when he asked me to serve on the Council with him. He is also hearing impaired and amazes me with all that he does!
Valerie, Jenna, & I
Valerie and Jenna are mother & daughter and this was their first convention experience. I love these two ladies! Valerie has bilateral cochlear implants and got them AT THE SAME TIME several years ago (she's a brave woman)! Jenna is so supportive of her mom and reminds me of how thoughtful and considerate my own kids are for me with my hearing loss. I met them in Gatlinburg (which is only about 40 minutes from my house) last year when Jenna had a dance competition. Valerie writes a blog at Tales From A CI Gal about her CI journey.

Karin Robertson

I met Karin a few months ago when she started coming to our HLA of Knoxville meetings. I found out later that she was a past President of our chapter! She is still involved with the deaf & hard of hearing and works for the Tennessee School for the Deaf in Knoxville.

Me with Zac LaFratta
I met Zac last year at the HLAA Convention in Reno. He is going to Gallaudet University to become an audiologist. And he has a hearing loss as well. There is no limit to what anyone can do! There were several audiologists and hearing professionals at the convention, which amazes me because I thought one needed to "hear" in order to be in these careers.
Rosemary Tuitte and I
Another amazing woman! Rosemary is a regular participant in the HLAA CI Chat on Monday nights. We've chatted online and traded emails so it was such a delight to meet her and her hearing dog, Janet.
Jennifer Thorpe, Jeffrey Johnson, & Mike Turner
This picture was taken at the Volunteer Dinner the night before the Convention. Jennifer, Jeffrey and I volunteered (along with several others) at the HLAA Convention Table in the Nashville Airport the day before the Convention started. I met Jeffrey briefly at the Tennessee Walk4Hearing in Chattanooga the month before. We had a great time talking while assisting and greeting people flying in for the event.
Mike Turner and I have been friends for a while and he spoke at one of our chapter meetings about videophones and Hands On Purple VRS (Video Relay Service) about how the deaf, hard of hearing and even the hearing customers can have access to high quality communication services through video relay.
Me with Mike Turner's Wife, Colleen
Here I am with Mike Turner's better half, Colleen. We met for the first time this past February when I was in Nashville for a Council meeting and hit it off right away. I felt like we had been friends for years! Colleen was at the Convention every day, helping Mike with his booth in the exhibit hall. Colleen & Mike both have hearing losses and make a great couple.
Arlene Romoff and I
Arlene wrote the book "Hear Again" about her cochlear implant journey and how she regained her life back in the hearing world as a late deafened adult. This was our first meeting!
Deb McClendon and I at the Birthday Party Celebration
Deb & I also met last year in Reno. She is a bilateral cochlear implant recipent and is a hoot! She is very involved with her chapter in the San Diego, California area.
Tom Vorjohan The Magician
Tom provided some magical entertainment for a day in the exhibit hall. His tricks were incredible and amazing! He is also my neighbor and has a wonderful family. I always ask his kids to do a trick or two for me when they come to my door selling fund raising items for school! It must be fun to grow up with a magician in the house!
AND.....ELVIS!!! (Ken Arcia)


VBnBama said...

dang, again, so jealous..........i did meet barny fife at a cochlear convention once, nothing like your celebrity list.

tammy said...

Like Val said ... jealous! ; ) How great to meet all the people you have! What a wonderful experience!