Guest Bios

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Guest Bios

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.

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.

Dr. Gene Bratt

Dr. Gene Bratt is the Chief of the Audiology and Speech Pathology Service at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville. He received his doctorate in audiology from Vanderbilt University in 1980, and has since been a clinical audiologist at the VA in Nashville. He is has been a funded investigator for most of his tenure with the VA, with research interests in the selection and fitting of hearing aids. He has published his findings and those of his research group on several occasions in professional journals, and has been an invited speaker internationally. He is also an associate professor of audiology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where his teaching interests have centered about clinical audiology and pathologies of the auditory system.

Dr. Jack J. Wazen

Dr. Jack J. Wazen, MD FACS Otologist-Neurotologist & Surgeon, Silverstein Institute Director of Research, Ear Research Foundation 

Internationally Recognized Otologist- Neurotologist & Surgeon Over 20 years experience as a practitioner, professor and researcher. Silverstein Institute - Sarasota Ear Research Foundation - Sarasota Columbia University - New York Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center -New York 

Author, "Dizzy – What You Need to Know About Managing & Treating Balance Disorders" Drummer, "Doc & the Earignals", jazz band that performs and has made 10 CDs to support the Ear Research Foundation

Dr. Michael A. Harvey

Dr. Michael A. Harvey provides training and consultation on hearing loss, vicarious trauma and mental health issues.  In addition to a private practice in Framingham, Mass., he is an adjunct faculty at Boston University and a consultant faculty at Pennsylvania College of Optometry, School of Audiology, where he teaches on-line courses relating to the psychosocial aspects of hearing loss.  Dr. Harvey writes a regularly forHearing Loss Magazine, for Hearing Loss Association of America, in addition to over 40 articles, his publications include The Odyssey of Hearing Loss: Tales of Triumph, Psychotherapy with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons: A Systemic Model  (second addition), and a co-edited book entitled Culturally Affirmative Psychotherapy with Deaf Persons. His most recent book is Listen with the Heart: Relationships and Hearing Loss. 

Dr. Harvey is Co-Director of a private, non-profit organization, Dialogue Toward Change, dedicated to providing research, training and consultation services to alleviate the potentially negative impact of witnessing oppression.

Dr. Rob Jackler

Dr. Jackler was raised in Waterville, Maine, attended college and medical school in Boston, and moved west to the University of California, San Francisco for residency in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. After taking a Neurotology fellowship at the House Ear Clinic (1985), Dr. Jackler joined the faculty at UCSF where he remained until 2003 when he became the Sewall Professor and Chair of the Department at OHNS and professor in the departments of Neurosurgery and Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Jackler is an otologist-neurotologist who specializes in complex ear diseases. He has a special interest in tumors of the lateral and posterior cranial base and has written numerous analytical papers derived from his microsurgical series. A long standing collaboration with medical artist Chirstine Gralapp has produced over 1500 original illustrations of a wide variety of cranial base and ear microsurgical approaches ( For over 25 years Dr. Jackler has directed a fellowship program in neurotology and skull base surgery which has trained a number of academic leaders in the field.

Dr. Jackler has authored over 150 peer reviewed papers, over 35 textbook chapters, numerous editorials, published three books: Neurotology (1994, 2004), Atlas of Neurotology & Skull Base Surgery (1996, 2008), and Tumors of the Ear and Temporal Bone (2000). Dr. Jackler leads the Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss whose mission is to create biological cures for major forms of inner ear hearing loss through a research effort that is sustained, large-scale, multidisciplinary, focused, goal-oriented, and transformational (

Ellen Beer

Ellen Beer recently joined Cochlear Americas as a Consumer Marketing Manager, where she contributes her own recipient insights and marketing experience. She is an active member of the Cochlear Community, a network of recipients who share their hearing journeys together worldwide.

Esther Kelly

Author and award winning speaker, Esther Kelly, has developed and implemented numerous programs designed to meet the unique needs of her clients, presenting her acclaimed “Hearing Loss in Action – Beyond Methodology” to countless groups, organizations and community colleges. Ms. Kelly has given many workshops at Hearing Loss Association of America National Conventions.  Among her books, videos and DVDs are, “A Sign Signals Manual”,  and her award winning video, “You Should Hear What You Are Missing”. Her most recent 6-DVD series, “Solutions for People with Hearing Loss in Career and Education Environments,” is a contemporary classic utilized by Texas Vocational Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and available at all Texas Public Libraries. 

Esther Kelly runs a Hearing Loss Program and Technology Center at Deaf Action Center in Dallas Texas and serves as a Hearing Loss Resource Specialist for the Texas Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.  Esther is a tireless advocate for the Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened.   Having lived with hearing loss from the time she was a child, and the recipient of a successful cochlear implant, Esther has life experience that has given her insight in the needs of those with hearing loss.


Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a writer, actor and public speaker who grew up with a progressive hearing loss that is now severe-to-profound. She is a director on the national board of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and runs The Hearing Foundation of Canada’s award-winning Sound Sense hearing awareness program for elementary students across Canada. As a passionate advocate for people with hearing loss, her work includes speechreading instruction, hearing awareness workshops for youth and adults, and sensitivity training for corporations and community groups. 

Gael is a sought-after speaker for her humorous and insightful performances about hearing loss, including her signature shows Unheard Voices and EarRage! She has received several awards for her work, including the Consumer Advocacy Award from the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.