Guest Bios

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Guest Bios

Brenda Battat, MS, MCSP

Brenda Battat, MS, MCSP, was the executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). She worked at HLAA for 20 years in a variety of positions including acting executive director, deputy executive director, and director of public policy and state development. 

Ms Battat’s vision for HLAA is to eradicate the stigma and increase the general public’s awareness about hearing loss; have hearing loss recognized as a health issue and continue HLAA’s work of helping people face the everyday challenges of living and working with hearing loss.

Ms. Battat has a profound hearing loss and uses a cochlear implant and hearing aid for better hearing. She has a master’s degree in counseling from Indiana University, and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy with fifteen years of experience working in that field. She has lived and worked in four different countries and taught English in China.

Ms Battat has served on government, professional and business advisory boards including the U.S. Access Board’s Telecommunications Access Advisory Committee, the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer/Disability Advisory Committee, AT&T Advisory Panel on Access and Aging, American and Northwest Airlines Consumer Advisory Committees. Her term on the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders Advisory Council starts in June 2009.

For her work in advocacy she received the Robert H. Weitbrecht Telecommunications Access Award 2007, Oticon Focus on People Advocacy Award 2005, and Self Help for Hard of Hearing People National Access Award 2002.

Brenda Ingham Williams

Brenda Ingham Williams is the founder of Your Coaching Solution and a board certified professional coach. As a master practitioner in energy leadership she specializes in a process that develops an effective style of leadership that positively influences and changes not only yourself, but those with whom you work and interact.

Cara James

Cara James, Executive Director, American Tinnitus Association

Carissa Moeggenberg

Carissa Moeggenberg completed both a Bachelor’s of Science (1991) and a Master’s of Audiology (1992) from Central Michigan University. Upon completing these degrees she joined the University of Michigan’s Cochlear Implant team where she served as a pediatric audiologist for over 10 years. Following her passion for cochlear implants and rehabilitation of children and adults with a severe to profound hearing loss she joined Advanced Bionics in 2002. Presently she is the Manager of Rehab Programs and in that role develops the aural rehabilitative education programs and resources provided by Advanced Bionics. She is also working on her Doctorate of Audiology degree through Central Michigan University’s Distance Learning Program. Carissa has co-authored several publications on cochlear implantation and has presented nationally on cochlear implantation and aural rehabilitation. She lives in Michigan with her husband and 2 children.

Christine K. Cassel, M.D.

A pioneering woman in healthcare, Dr. Cassel is President and CEO of National Quality Forum, a nonprofit organization working to improve health and healthcare for all Americans through quality measurements. She was the first woman chair at the American Board of Internal Medicine, first woman president of the American College of Physicians, and the first woman dean of Oregon Health and Science University. She is also one of 20 scientists chosen by President Barack Obama to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and is co-chair and physician leader of a PCAST report to the President on future directions of health information technology. 

Dave Dougall

Dave Dougall is the Accessibility Program Manager at Research In Motion (RIM), a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of innovative wireless data solutions, including the BlackBerry® family of products and services. In his role which he has held at RIM for the last five years, Dave is responsible for BlackBerry accessibility and all other aspects of RIM’s Accessibility Program. Dave has been involved in the Alliance for Telecommunications Solutions Incubator on Hearing Aid Compatibility, as well as TEITAC Subcommittees providing recommendations for updates on Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and guidelines under Section 255 of the US Telecommunications Act. Dave participates in industry trade association Accessibility Working Groups for ITI, TIA, and CTIA. 

Dave holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kettering University (GMI) in Flint, MI and an MBA from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario. 

Deanna Baker, RMR, FAPR

Deanna Baker graduated from the American Institute of Commerce, Bettendorf, Iowa, in 1981.   She reported as an official and freelance reporter in the Quad City area until 1983 when she moved to Seattle.  While in Washington state, she was an official for four years, owned her own freelance agency and worked with Larsen & Smith Court Reporters, as well as held offices within the Washington Shorthand Reporters Association, including President from 1992-1993.

In 1992 Deanna founded Captioning Northwest, Inc., which provided realtime and captioning services, working with large corporations and universities providing captioning services as well as realtime in the classroom.

In 1994 Deanna moved to Tucson and began providing CART services at the University of Arizona working with deaf and hard of hearing students, as well as continuing her freelance captioning work.

In January of 1996 to March 2007, Deanna provided captioning services for the Tucson City Council Meetings.

In addition Deanna captions national and international programming for a variety of news, sports, educational and corporate  programming across the country.

In 1999 Deanna was appointed to the Tucson Commission on Disability Issues.

In June of 2000 Deanna was elected to the Board of Trustees of Self Help for Hard of Hearing, Inc. (now Hearing Loss Association of America) and Secretary of the Board 2003-2004.  For 2001-2003, Deanna was chair of the NCRA Captioning Task Force and in 2004 was appointed to the NCRA Captioning Community of Interest and in 2005 was appointed Chair.  At the NCRA convention in 2005, Deanna was honored with being named a Fellow in the Academy of Professional Reporters.

Currently, Deanna is a freelance realtime captioner/consultant residing in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Diane Nens, Audiologist

Diane Nens received her Bachelor of Science degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 1985, and her master’s degree in audiology from the University of Akron in 1987. Her clinical experience includes diagnostic testing, hearing aid dispensing, and counseling.

Diane joined hi HealthInnovations in 2012. Her roles there include corporate leadership, as well as audiologist serving the Detroit area. She is an advocate for hearing health education and has been featured on numerous television and radio stations nationwide.

Donald W. Bataille, AIA, CCS

Donald W. Bataille, AIA, CCS. Received Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky, and currently practices Architecture in Rochester, NY. Don currently serves as Board President for the Hearing Loss Association of America, Rochester NY Chapter, and served as past chairperson for the Chapter’s Professional Advisory and Strategic Planning Committees. 

Don experienced sudden hearing loss in 1994 and has continued to promote better workplace acoustics through his “Hear to Work” series of workshops at the past 2007, 2008, and 2009 HLAA National Conventions. 

He recently complemented additional professional training with the following courses “Architectural Acoustics”, Pratt University, NYC, 2007.

Douglas A. Cotanche

Douglas A. Cotanche is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery and Anatomy & Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine, a Lecturer in the Department of Otology & Laryngology at Harvard Medical School, and a Member of the Affiliated Faculty of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Anatomy from the University of North Carolina in 1983 and did a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cell Biology at the University of Pennsylvania from 1983-1985. His first faculty position was in the Departments of Otolaryngology and Anatomy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC from 1985 to 1987. In 1987 he moved to Boston where he was in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine for ten years before moving to Children's Hospital in 1998. 

In 2008 he returned to BUMC with a primary appointment in the Department of Otolaryngology and a joint appointment in Anatomy & Neurobiology. Dr. Cotanche has served as Secretary/Treasurer and a Council Member of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, and has served on the Council of Scientific Trustees of the Deafness Research Foundation, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Central Institute of the Deaf in St. Louis, MO and on numerous hearing-related NIH Study Sections. He is a Section Editor for Hearing Research and a member of the editorial board of Audiology & Neurotology. Dr. Cotanche’s research has focused on the development and regeneration of hair cells and the tectorial membrane in the avian and mammalian cochlea. In 1985 he co-discovered that birds can regenerate their cochlear hair cells after sound damage and regain their hearing. He has continued his research on regeneration and has been a prominent force in the drive to develop hair cell regeneration as a potential treatment for sensorineural deafness. Currently the work in his lab is also exploring the therapeutic potential of stem cell transplantation into the damaged mammalian cochlea. Dr. Cotanche also teaches Gross Anatomy to first year medical students in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology where, in 2007, he received the Award for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard Medical School.