Access Controls

Text Size

Colour Contrast

Open Access ControlsClose Access Controls

COVID-19 update: Masks are required inside all Wavefront Centre locations. People who cannot put on or remove a mask on their own are exempt. Learn more.

Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility

Menu

About Wavefront Centre

Our Team

We’re proud of our Wavefront family!

Wavefront Centre embraces and values a diverse and inclusive work environment. Our staff come from a variety of different backgrounds, experiences and cultures. We have staff that are celebrating their 29th year with us, while some have just cleared the 6 month mark. The average employed years at Wavefront Centre is 15 years. Many of our longtime staff have seen each other through life’s milestones: marriage, babies, graduation, mid-life crises, conscious uncouplings. Upon arriving at Wavefront Centre, you will be greeted and served by our diverse and friendly staff. Clients often compliment us on the family feel of our workplace culture.

Senior Leadership Team

Christopher T. Sutton

Chief Executive Officer

Contact Christopher
Video about Christopher

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

I love to travel, anywhere where there is a beach, good food, wonderful people, relaxing book to read and where I can turn off from technology.  A recent milestone birthday I spent it in India and celebrated at the Taj Mahal and Fort Agra, it was an experience of a lifetime.


Christopher T. Sutton, MBA, was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer at Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility on April 1, 2020. Christopher has over 20 years of cross-functional and progressive management and leadership experience, working with some of the largest organizations serving people with disabilities in the United States and Canada. Christopher’s career has spanned across the not-for-profit, public and start-up sectors where he has worked in various leadership capacities in business development, fundraising, government and stakeholder relations, marketing and communications, and sales.

 

Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gallaudet University, and a Master of Business Administration from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, in addition to a number of professional certifications.

 

Christopher is a sought-after expert in issues related to accessibility, diversity and inclusion, and sits on several committees nationally and provincially.  As a member and founder of various consumer/industry working groups, Christopher has been successful in enhancing accessibility and inclusion for a broad range of audiences. In 2019, Christopher appeared before three parliamentary committees to advocate for the passage of Bill C-81: An Accessible Canada Act.

 

Christopher was born with a profound hearing loss and grew up using hearing aids; in 2008, to expand his communication options, he underwent surgery to obtain a cochlear implant. In his free time, Christopher volunteers with charities, mentors young adults, and assists smaller organizations with developing social enterprises. Christopher enjoys travelling, visiting beach destinations, biking, cooking, and reading.

 

Christopher was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador and has lived in Washington, DC, Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario, before moving to Vancouver, BC in March 2020.

A headshot of a white woman with brown hair smiling and wearing a blue scarf and a black blouse.

Ruth Warick

Director, Programs & Services

Contact Ruth

 

Read Bio

Dr. Ruth Warick, a leader in the voluntary sector and an experienced manager, joins Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility as Director of Programs & Services. Dr. Warick has experience with strategic planning, program development and management, client needs assessment, program evaluation, and research. She is dedicated to the inclusion and accessibility of persons with disabilities, particularly those who are Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing.

Dr. Warick was employed by the University of British Columbia (UBC) for more than 25 years and as a Senior Accessibility Advisor, she had responsibility for facilitating reasonable accommodations for students, staff, and faculty with disabilities; in particular, she coordinated the provision of American sign language (ASL)interpreting and captioning services. Her work was based on a framework of recognizing the intersectionality of people’s lives, including gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and identity as Indigenous people.

She served as Co-chair of the Adult Special Education –Services, Articulation Committee for the post-secondary sector in BC from 2004 – 2007 and Chair of the Diversity Initiative Project of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) for her profession, from 2008 to 2011.

She has prior experience as Director, Staff Development/ Management Development for the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission; Director, Women’s Services Branch for Saskatchewan Advanced Education and Manpower, as Associate Professor and Coordinator of Professional Programs for the University of Regina’s Extension unit. Her first career was as a newspaper reporter.

Working as part of a team of university researchers, she was editor of the first evaluation report of the Medical Interpreting Services in 2000 and was author of the section on ASL interpreting and captioning.

Dr. Warick’s innovations include being a founder of a services agency for Deaf and hard of hearing persons in Saskatchewan, being a founding member of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, and establishing an award-winning Seniors’ Education Centre at the University of Regina. She established the first development projects on education, employment, and healthcare of hard of hearing people for the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People of which she is currently President.

She also serves the international cross-disability movement as the First Vice-President of the International Disability Alliance, which interfaces with the United Nations on implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She has been involved in leadership positions in IDA since 2006.

Dr. Warick, who has a severe hearing loss, has a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of British Columbia. She was awarded a Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1999/2000, for her thesis research on the post-secondary experiences of hard of hearing students. She received a Service excellence award from the Disability Resource Network of BC in 2009, and a UBC President’s Award of Excellence in Diversity in 2012. ​

Hugh McCormack, RAUD

Director, Clinical Operations & Social Enterprise

Contact Hugh

 

Read Bio

Hugh McCormack, RAUD obtained his master’s degree in Audiology from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, and his bachelor’s degree in Media Technology from the University of Limerick. Hugh also holds a Certificate in Business Studies from Cork Institute of Technology. Upon completion of his MSc, Hugh worked as a Clinical Audiologist with the NHS in Edinburgh before joining the Auditory Implant Centre in Belfast where he specialized in cochlear implants and bone conduction devices. In 2018 Hugh moved to Vancouver and joined Cochlear as the Clinical Territory Manager for Western Canada. In this role Hugh provided training and support to Audiologists and Surgeons as well as developed and implemented sales plans and strategies for the territory. Hugh was born in Ireland and has worked in Audiology in the UK, USA, and Canada. 

Susan Tang, B.Eng., C.P.A.

Controller, Head of Finance

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food?

 

Chinese food


I hold a Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada accreditation. I joined Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility in 2007 and was appointed Controller in 2018. As Controller, I am responsible for overseeing the day to day financial operations, assisting the Interim Executive Director and the other department heads with budgeting processes, grant applications, resolving financial issues and preparing financial statements. I also have a mechanical engineering degree. When I’m not at work, I spend a lot of time watching and falling in love with my two little grandsons. I enjoy this rewarding journey watching them grow as they make their way through life with a smile and twinkle.

Administration & Finance

Ruth Gessner

Executive Assistant & Facility Manager

Contact Ruth

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

Being able to hear about all the amazing ways the staff here are able to help someone.


I have worked at the Wavefront Centre for over 15 years. Before I was a staff member, Wavefront touched my life in many ways – as a Child of Deaf Parents (CODA), I saw the many ways Wavefront helped my parents, and helped me to be able to enjoy my time as a kid. I have a varied background in administration, design and facility management and am grateful to be able to give back to a community I care so deeply for.

Michelle Rondeau

Front Desk Receptionist / Audiometric Technician | Quebec Street

Contact Michelle

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

I went to Australia for a year, and it was amazing!


I grew up with a sister who is hard of hearing, and who has worked at Wavefront Centre for longer than I have! Actually, my interest in audiology developed when I took over her Saturday receptionist duties when she became an audiologist at Wavefront Centre in 2013. My favourite part about working here is the diverse, inclusive, and passionate people, both staff and clients, that I learn new and valuable things from every day.

Matthew Day

Front Desk Receptionist

Contact Matthew

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

My favourite thing about working for the Wavefront Centre is simply knowing that my work, as part of the team, helps people. I’ve always wanted to have a job that has a clear positive impact in the lives of the people around me and I hope I can continue to do this type of work for a very long time. 


Born and raised in several cities in the Lower Mainland I’ve always been interested in art and subcultures. I’ve tried my hand as a skateboarder, a graphic designer, a carpenter, a photographer, and even a forklift operator. After my time at the Wavefront Centre I hope to become an ASL interpreter and hopefully will be able to work with the Centre in that capacity.

Nohemi Fuchs

Accounts Receivable

Contact Nohemi

 

Read Bio

 

What’s the most inspiring part of your job?

 

I’m proud to work for a charitable organization that cares deeply about the people whom we serve.


I immigrated to Canada many years ago. I love living in a country that has a sense of social equality. I have been working in the accounting field for almost half of my life. However, working for a charitable organization has taught me that not everything is about making big profits, but more about sharing and caring for the wellbeing of others.

Anita Hyrapet

Accounts Payable

Contact Anita

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

Something that amazes me about Wavefront Centre is how we have grown and developed into a leading resource and model for accessibility in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.


My background and experience is in the financial industry in various capacities; numbers have always been my forte. At Wavefront Centre I work in the accounting department with a great team and my job is to make sure that our invoices are processed on time. When I’m not in the office, I enjoy going to the movies and different types of events, as well as taking long walks and travelling.

Elena Grigorieva

Accounting Clerk

Contact Elena

 

Read Bio

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

I’d have to say mine was 2 years ago when I went to Barcelona, Spain. I was there for about two weeks and it was by far the most amazing trip of my life!


I am an organized, responsible  and hard working person person who really enjoys travelling to places with different cultures, because it forces you to think about your own.

Sharon Miller

Accounting Clerk

Contact Sharon

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

A trip to Cancun so many years ago.


At the age of two and a half years old, I was diagnosed with a severe sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and have been wearing hearing aids ever since. When I say I understand, I really mean I understand. I have faced similar struggles on a daily basis and find inspiration by serving others. I have had the good fortune to work with the audiology, communications and counselling departments over my long tenure at Wavefront Centre. Each client shares their struggles and gains knowledge to overcome challenges with communicating with colleagues, family, and friends. I love learning about new technologies and services that are available to pave a gentler road in the world of accessibility and connectivity.

Marketing & Communications

Janee Yang

Communications Assistant

Contact Janee

Hearing Clinics

Elissa Robb, M.Sc., Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Clinic Manager | Tri-Cities

Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner

Contact Elissa

Read Bio

 

What is the most inspiring part of your job?

The most inspiring part of my job is having the skillset to provide clients and their families with the gift of sound. I still get goosebumps when I witness families reconnect on a deeper level once our services are introduced. It’s incredible!


Wavefront Centre has been my second home since 2009, when I was hired as the Saturday receptionist. During this time, I experienced a drastic change in my own hearing and Wavefront Centre supported me in a number of ways in order to cope with the communication challenges I was facing, particularly in the post-secondary environment. This experience really confirmed my decision to become an audiologist and I rejoined the organization in that capacity in 2013.

I have a keen interest in educational accessibility and received an advocate award recognizing my dedication from the Canadian Association for Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in 2016.

In my spare time, you can find me volunteering for the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, on the soccer field, riding my bike, running (hopefully at an impressive pace), or spending time with my family.

 

Charles Fontaine, M.Sc., Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Clinic Manager | Willow

Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner

Contact Charles

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

Our fantastic team and the non-profit, no-sales-pressure environment.


I joined the Wavefront Centre in 2005 where I am a clinical audiologist and manager of our Willow location.  As a Clinical Instructor with the UBC School of Audiology and Speech Science, I contribute to training the next generation of clinicians.  I am also a board member of the College of Speech and Hearing of BC, which ensures that speech and hearing services are provided safely, effectively, and ethically to the public.  I have a strong interest in technology and enjoy using my technological expertise to provide the best in hearing aid and assistive technology solutions for each individual.

Tina Saiki, M.Sc., Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner | Quebec Street

Contact Tina

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

I work with great people! I cannot do my job without the amazing support from everyone I work with. Not only are they great at what they do, they are genuinely super nice people!


I have worked as an Audiologist for almost 25 years; over 15 of these years have been with Wavefront Centre. When I am not working, my favorite escape is to be hiking to remote glacier lakes or stand-up paddling in the ocean.

Yinda Liu, Aud.D., Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner | Quebec Street

Contact Yinda

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

My favourite trip was when my husband and I went to China in 2014. My parents and I moved from China to North America when I was 9 years old and we regularly go back to visit. The trip in 2014 was the first time that my husband had ever visited China. He got to meet all my extended family and I enjoyed introducing all sorts of local food to him. It was wonderful to share my culture with him and at the same time see it differently from his perspective.


I joined the Wavefront Centre family in 2016 and have never looked back. I am so fortunate to work with colleagues who are passionate about helping people and supportive of each other. At the same time, we are not afraid of being silly sometimes and having a laugh together. Outside of work, I enjoy eating good food, traveling to interesting places, perfecting my ukulele skills, and just creating memories with my family and friends.

Hanna Smith, M.Sc., Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner | Quebec Street

Contact Hanna

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food?

 

Impossible question! I love food and am notoriously NOT a picky eater, which I credit to my time living in a dorm room.


I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta but am proud to call myself a Vancouverite since moving to this beautiful city in 2010. The best part of my job as an audiologist is when clients and their families tell me how much better they can communicate after coming to Wavefront. I enjoy getting to know people from all walks of life and hearing their stories – I look forward to meeting you too!

Goska Macior-Headrick, M.Sc., Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner | Quebec Street

Contact Goska

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

Camping in Iceland


I graduated from the program of Audiology and Speech Sciences at the University of British Columbia in 2011. I worked at BC children’s hospital and Miracle Ear Canada for 7 years prior to joining the Wavefront Centre in 2018.

 

I am certified in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and have been providing treatment for tinnitus and decreased sound tolerance.

 

As a Clinical Instructor with UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, I provide training to audiology students.

 

Outside of work, I enjoy reading on diverse subjects, birding, and doing outdoor sports.

Nina Sadra, M.Cl.Sc., Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner | Quebec Street

Contact Nina

Maxine Dominelli

Audiology Administrative Supervisor & Audiometric Technician | Quebec Street

Contact Maxine

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

Camping – Green Lake, Beautiful B.C.


I LOVE to Camp, especially off the grid – the less modern technology, the better.

I grew up with a profound hearing loss – my daughter was 21 years old when I heard her voice for the first time with the aid of a Cochlear implant. Since then, I love to be in nature and listen to the sounds of water, birds chirping and raindrops falling. Time away from technology leaves me refreshed, rejuvenated and grateful for the gift of hearing. At Wavefront Centre, I’m fortunate to work with the Audiology Drop-in Program. I clean hearing aids, troubleshoot and do minor repairs. I love client work and find myself inspired each day by clients’ stories of living with hearing loss.

Yiwan Woo, M.Sc., Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner | Tri-Cities

Contact Yiwan

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

Peru


I started my audiology career in the East Kootenay, providing comprehensive hearing health care in remote areas of BC. A few years later I moved back home, striving to continue empowering those who come through the agency. When I am not in the clinic, I can be found on a yoga mat, behind a camera, or on a trail.

Randi Fraser, M.Cl.Sc., RAUD, RHIP

Registered Audiologist | Tri-Cities

Contact Randi

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

Working with such an amazing and collaborative team!


I grew up on the east coast in Nova Scotia and graduated from the audiology program at the University of Western Ontario in 2020. After graduation I made my way to the west coast. I am thrilled to be a part of Wavefront and to help people reach their communication goals. When I am not working, you can find me on the ski slopes or exploring new hikes that Vancouver has to offer!

Praise Chow, M.Sc., Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Registered Audiologist & Hearing Instrument Practitioner | Willow

Contact Praise

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food? 

 

Pretty much anything my husband creates. He loves to watch the Food Network and knows how to elevate just about anything.


I have a unique and difficult-to-hear kind of name – not great for someone who works in a hearing clinic. But that’s because my parents were thrilled to have me! You will find our receptionists explaining daily: “Her name is Praise as in “PRAISE the Lord!”.” Prior to Wavefront, I was responsible for school-aged students through Vancouver Coastal Health and worked at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. Fast forward 16 years, with a husband and two kids in tow, I have enjoyed serving my clients in English and Cantonese; it’s been rewarding to help them find access to communication that they may not have thought possible. Borrowing from artist FatBoySlim, I want to “praise you”, Wavefront!

Michelle Rondeau

Front Desk Receptionist / Audiometric Technician | Quebec Street

Contact Michelle

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

I went to Australia for a year, and it was amazing!


I grew up with a sister who is hard of hearing, and who has worked at Wavefront Centre for longer than I have! Actually, my interest in audiology developed when I took over her Saturday receptionist duties when she became an audiologist at Wavefront Centre in 2013. My favourite part about working here is the diverse, inclusive, and passionate people, both staff and clients, that I learn new and valuable things from every day.

Melody Sawad

Client Services Coordinator | Quebec Street

Contact Melody

 

 

 

Jessica Tang

Client Services Coordinator | Quebec Street

Contact Jessica

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

My favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre is having the ability to connect with clients and my colleagues on a personal level.


I have been working in medical clinics for over 11 years, beginning at an optometrist clinic and later at a private hearing clinic. After four years at the hearing clinic, I had the opportunity to work at a pediatric ophthalmologist clinic, which – let’s be honest – was quite loud! A short time later, Wavefront Centre had a posting for their Client Services Coordinator. I had wanted to be a part of this organization for a long time, they saw my passion, and I have been here ever since!

Janel Watson

Client Services Coordinator | Quebec Street

Contact Janel

Jennifer Bate

Client Services Coordinator | Quebec Street

Contact Jennifer

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

Disneyland! – I am a Disney enthusiast. Disneyland just makes me incredibly happy, it’s like a home away from home!


I grew up signing as I have deaf grandparents and my mom is a Sign Language Interpreter. My journey at Wavefront Centre started when I worked at the West 7th office for almost 2 years back in 2014- 2016 and then found myself coming back to work at the new location 4 years later! I love working at Wavefront Centre because I can help people that are just like my own family & understand what they’re going through because of my own personal background. When I’m not working, I’m at home with family and most importantly, cuddling with my cat!

Cheri Nigut

Client Services Coordinator | Tri-Cities

Contact Cheri

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

Working at Wavefront has given me the skills to help people to hear better. Our clients are some of the best people I have ever met. I am also thankful for the wonderful people I get to work with.


I grew up in North Vancouver and moved to Vancouver Island where I worked and raised my children for almost 20 years. I moved back to the mainland to be closer to my large family and to find more opportunities for my children. Best decision I’ve ever made.

 

Kaitlyn Angelozzi

Client Services Coordinator | Tri-Cities

Contact Kaitlyn

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food?

 

Anything cooked by my nonna or freshly grown from her garden.


My journey at Wavefront Centre began when I was 16 years old and had the opportunity to do a work experience placement at the Tri-Cities office. I was incredibly blessed to be able to witness Wavefront Centre helping people in real time and 2 years later, I had the privilege of being brought onto the team in an official capacity. I am currently a psychology student at SFU and continue to be inspired every week at work. When I’m not at work or school, you can find me buried nose-deep in a book.

 

Stacey Ready

Client Services Coordinator | Willow

Contact Stacey

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food?

 

I don’t have a favourite food but my favourite TYPE of food would have to be breakfast food.  There are just endless options, sweet AND savoury!


I was born and raised in East Van, and I still live there. I grew up in the Greek community here in the Lower Mainland and I am still very involved with the community I even speak Greek fairly fluently.  I grew up speaking English and Greek and I now have the pleasure of learning American Sign Language!  I am now starting Level 2 ASL at VCC! I have been the Client Services Coordinator at the Willow and Broadway Hearing Clinic Location for just under 4 years.  I am the first person you talk to when you call and the first person you see when you walk in. I am looking forward to welcoming you to our small but very busy clinic!

Accessible Communication Services

Cindy Haner

Staff Interpreter / Manager of Accessible Communication Services

Contact Cindy

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

Kenya – Beyond beautiful and seeing so many of the animals in the wild was amazing


I became a Registered Sign Language Interpreter in 2006. I love the field and the people I work with and for.  In my spare time, my husband and I spend our time outdoors hiking the local mountains and kayaking.

Rytch Newmiller, M.S.W.

Manager of Accessible Communication Services
Contact Rytch

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food?

 

Ahi Tuna Poke


 I have worked in many Deaf and Hard of Hearing non-profit organizations over the course of 27 years and I had the pleasure of beginning my work at Wavefront Centre in 2008. I later left for Alberta to complete my Masters in Social Work at University of Calgary.  In 2020, I returned to Wavefront Centre to join the Counselling Services team. I am pleased to be living back in Vancouver with my partner; we love to travel around the world and being with our family of 4 kids and 2500 indigenous relatives from Bella Bella, B.C.. I am well known in the Deaf community and I’m always available to volunteer and have been for 31 years. It’s good to be back at Wavefront Centre to continue to serve Deaf and hard of hearing individuals to thrive and succeed with communication accessibility.

Suzie Giroux

Staff Interpreter / Project Manager

Contact Suzie

 

Read Bio

 

What is the most inspiring part of your job?

 

The most inspiring part of my job is to see the growth in awareness for providing accessible communication to the citizens of our province, our country, and our world. I am honoured to be a part of that access and to be able to contribute in the ways which I do. 


A graduate of the program of Sign Language Interpretation at Douglas College, I have been interpreting for 28 years. I hold a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Leadership, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Sign Language Interpreting. I have a long history with Wavefront Centre for Accessible Communication, having done one of my practicum placements with the organization when I was in school. It is great to be now working at a place that feels so much like home and with a community and coworkers who feel like family.

Chandler Baer

Booking Coordinator

Contact Chandler

Barrington Harrison

Booking Coordinator

Contact Barrington

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

My favourite thing about working here is the level of accessibility the centre has and how much consideration is made for all parties to attain ease of access. Every department has the ambition to make sure everyone who is Deaf, Hard of Hearing, DeafBlind and/or Late-Deafened is heard and provided with the tools to live the best life as everyone else who is hearing – and it’s truly a beautiful thing.


I was born & raised in Toronto, ON, and I am of Jamaican descent. Before getting involved in the Deaf community, I had a huge admiration for drama/television and a keen interest in music and creative writing. While in high school, I worked as a background extra for several TV & movie productions, and I started taking interest in ASL upon graduating. In 2013, I moved to Winnipeg working in the Deaf community as a Services Support Person for DeafBlind individuals, and then moved here to Vancouver in 2015. I also enjoy watching random informational videos (documentaries, “How It’s Made” episodes, TED Talks), and I’m an avid fan of Big Brother.

Raj Shah

Data and Operations Analyst

Contact Raj

 

Shayla Carrier

Administrative Assistant

Contact Shayla

Community Outreach Programs

Marco Chiaramonte, B.Sc., CCDP

Manager, Community Outreach Services

Contact Marco

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food?

 

Fish and chips


I am hard of hearing and grew up in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland until settling in Vancouver in 2008. I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree at the University of Victoria in Community Development through the School of Public Administration. I see the potential for positive change regarding inclusion and diversity within Wavefront Centre and have made considerable contributions regarding accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. I also hope to make significant strides politically – changing policies and procedures for access to affect change with the communities that I continue to serve.

 

Joy Borgonia, B.A. Com.

Employment Placement Specialist

Contact Joy

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan


I have an extensive background in disability management and rehabilitation and am passionate about helping people with disabilities. It has been a great and rewarding adventure!

At Wavefront Centre I assist hard of hearing clients find sustainable employment, as an Employment Placement Specialist. I am also hard of hearing and working with clients with same disability makes me feel that I am not alone. It is about courage, determination and overcoming challenges like adversity, stigma and prejudice. Outside of work and household chores, you can find me hiking, trekking mountains and running. I love the outdoors and I’m ready to beat Forrest Gump in running. Run Joy Run….

 

Janno Lim

Program Assistant & Project Coordinator

Contact Janno

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

Last 2018, I went to the Netherlands with my hard-of-hearing friends to attend the international summer camp for the deaf and hard-of-hearing young adults ages 18 to 35. It was an amazing, memorable experience learning about the deaf and hard-of-hearing international community and making new friends from around the world.


I was born profoundly deaf and I got my cochlear implant on my right ear when I was three years old. I grew up in the Philippines and I moved to Canada when I started university ten years ago. I have worked and volunteered in various fields, ranging from retail logistics to youth community service. One of my most exciting experiences was teaching the deaf and hard-of-hearing children. My vision is to create an inclusive community that is accessible for everyone. During my free time, I enjoy learning languages including American Sign Language (ASL), cooking new recipes, swimming and relaxing on the beach during summer.

 

Sophia Mincheva

Community Service Worker

Contact Sophia

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite thing about working at Wavefront Centre?

 

If Wavefront Centre has taught me anything during my time here as a Student Intern, is how rewarding and fulfilling it feels to be part of such a diverse, inclusive, and passionate work environment that is fully committed to providing full accessibility, advocacy, resources, and support to the community we serve. I have had the pleasure of working with some fantastic people who have deeply inspired me in the work that they do, that I will always remember for years to come. Being part of Wavefront Centre has truly been an eye opening experience, and has helped lead me to my future career goal of becoming a counsellor for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community and continuing to provide services in this capacity. I am deeply passionate about mental health and helping support individuals and families with disabilities.


I am 26 years old and currently completing my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Counseling at Simon Fraser University. I was diagnosed at age 7 with a mild hearing loss that has progressed to severe-profound in my early adult years. I am currently waiting to get cochlear implants in both my ears. Currently, I am the only one in my family with a hearing loss (although my dad is slightly hard of hearing). I was born in Capetown, South Africa, and grew up there and in Bulgaria, where both of my parents are from, before migrating to Canada when I was 7 years old. When I graduate university in 2022, I hope to have the opportunity to learn ASL at VCC, before I return to university and complete my Masters degree in counselling. I currently speak three languages, and I would love to continue to learn more. I also love to travel and experience new cultures and foods. I am a major foodie 🙂 When I am not at work, you can find me going on the next hike/adventure, or cuddled up with my two bunnies watching Netflix (but most likely studying).

Tammy Gray

Better at Home Program Coordinator

Contact Tammy

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food?

 

Anything potatoes except sweet potatoes


I am a strong supporter of seniors and Deaf-Blind persons in our shared community and honoured to be their ally. At Wavefront Centre, I feel empowered by working with Deaf and Deaf-blind seniors to improve their lives. I am proudly Deaf and use American Sign Language.

Darshan Kaur

Senior Client & Volunteer Outreach Liaison

Contact Darshan

 

Read Bio

 

If you could interview anyone (dead or alive) who it be, and why?

 

Helen Keller. Braving limitations, Helen devoted her life to uplifting humanity as an activist, teacher and author. If I could communicate with Helen, I would ask her about her mum, Katherine & teacher, Anne. Katherine wanted to educate her daughter and Anne did that well. These wonderful women transformed the Deaf and the DeafBlind world forever. 


Working with the Deaf community has been an enriching journey since the 1980s. After learning ASL, I volunteered with the Self Reliant Centre for the Deaf at the YMCA in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Whenever I wasn’t working with the media, I spent my free time with my friends who were Deaf. This amazing experience took me to Cheju Island in South Korea – my first Hard of Hearing Camp and also hiking with the YMCA’s Seniors Deaf Club in the foothills of the Himalayas, in Nepal. The highlight of my volunteer experience was attending the Deaf Way II conference in Gallaudet University (GU) in 2002. The Malaysia delegation had the privilege to meet Dr. King Jordan, the first Deaf president of GU. And, working at Wavefront Centre I get to indulge in my passion daily, sign language! 🙂           

  

Ryan Ollis

DeafBlind Coordinator

Contact Ryan

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food?

 

Ice Cream & Pasta


I am Deaf and legally blind was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. I have a passion for running and I’ve been involved in the Deaflympics for track and field in Rome and also in the Pan American Games for the blind. Now, after several ankle injuries, I’ve decided to retire from running. 

I’ve  worked in a variety of settings, including as an American Sign Language (ASL) instructor.  I’ve also worked in the community as a support worker and peer support worker, promoting independence for people with developmental disabilities or supporting mental health.  At my job here at Wavefront Centre,  I get to use my passion for working in the DeafBlind field as the DeafBlind program coordinator in hopes of improving accessibility for the DeafBlind community. In my free time, I enjoy nature, meeting new people and socializing, watching movies and travelling whenever there is an opportunity.

Rachel Kavanagh

DeafBlind Intervenor

(Currently on Maternity Leave)

Contact Rachel

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

Living in the Netherlands for 6 weeks for my Masters program!


Being a DeafBlind intervenor is a passion of mine and I truly enjoy the diversity within this field. I have been fortunate to gain a practical and academic education in Canada and abroad, but I always learn the most from those I work with directly. I often find myself discussing the many challenges and hopes with the Deafblind community for the future here in BC. In my free time I enjoy cooking and hiking with my husband and friends.

Gillian Pettitt

DeafBlind Intervenor

Contact Gillian

 

Lindsay Collins

DeafBlind Intervenor

Contact Lindsay

 

Read Bio

 

What is the most inspiring part of your job?

 

Seeing the difference or impact that DeafBlind intervenors provide to the DeafBlind community.


I’m 32, recently connected with my father’s half of my family and discovered most were ranging from Hard of Hearing to Deaf. Found that interesting as I also recently completed the ASL and Deaf Studies Program at VCC. Future plans include attending George Brown to become a Certified Deafblind Intervenor and to become a Certified Sign Language Interpreter by attending Douglas College.

Christian Vasquez

DeafBlind Intervenor

Contact Christian

Communication Devices & Solutions

Porson Lee

Solutions & Sales Manager
Contact Porson

 

Read Bio

 

What is your favourite food?

 

Ramen!


I was born hard of hearing and have lived in Vancouver almost all of my life. I’m honored to be part of this organization, as a manager overseeing the Communication Devices Program. Outside of that, I’m an recent freelance software developer. As a brand new dev, my end goal is to study machine learning because I want to contribute to solving the world’s problems to improve our planet for our future generations.

When I’m not at work, I’m either on fun adventures with my adopted dog named Nasa and dancing in my dance garage studio!

 

Community Research Program

Dr. Brenda Poon, PhD, MEd

Senior Research Fellow, Research Program Lead

Assistant Professor, School of Population & Public Health Faculty of Medicine, UBC

Contact Brenda

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

Italy was fantastic – The food, wine, culture, people we met… can’t wait to go back!


I am a researcher who thrives when exploring ways to create knowledge that helps mobilize community action. I am curious by nature and very interested in ways to promote healthy communities! Drawing from my educational background in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Studies, and Population and Public Health, I’d like to explore ways that people and organizations build bridges and relationships with one another to collectively support healthier societies that are accessible to all. At Wavefront Centre, I’m so excited to be part of the development of its new research program and look forward to seeing it grow!

Dr. Lorienne Jenstad, PhD, Aud(C), RAUD, RHIP

Consultant & Senior Research Affiliate

Contact Lorienne

 

Read Bio

 

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

 

I love going to Switzerland; I’ve travelled there several times! 


I am an associate professor of Audiology at the University of British Columbia, where I conduct research and teach classes to future audiologists about hearing aids and hearing in aging. I have worked closely with Wavefront staff for 14 years and now I’m pleased to be part of the newly-established research program.

Accessible brand and website made with heart by Harc Creative