Board of Directors
1953: Class Valedictorian, grade 9 graduation
1954: Royal Canadian Lifeguard Medallion
1977: Head of graduating class, BScN, 2 awards
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a child of the depression. Graduated from the Winnipeg General Hospital as an RN in 1959.Worked in clinical practice in Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Following graduation with a BScN, taught at several schools of nursing leading to Director of Nursing positions at the Winnipeg Municipal Hospital and the Winnipeg General Hospital. Following graduation with a graduate degree, established a consulting practice that led to working as the hospital administrator for five years in Bella Bella, an Indigenous community on BC’s central coast.
Married and divorced, with two daughters. My oldest daughter, Jill, is a Nurse Practitioner in Nevada, USA. My younger daughter, AJ, was born deaf and with a neurological disorder similar to cerebral palsy. Wavefront Centre (WIDHH at the time) was the only place where I found help when AJ was a pre-schooler, and my volunteer time now is to thank the Society for their support at a time of great distress in my family.
Nora was born with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears and because of her short stature and fused elbows due to a rare form of dwarfism, Nora was trained to learn to listen with auditory verbal therapy as a child. Nora is a twin to an average height sister and they are rare twins as genetically they are identical.
Nora is a registered social worker and has worked at Providence Health Care since 2010 in the areas of: Geriatrics, Adult Protection, Orthopedics, Stroke and Amputee Rehabilitation. She also worked at the University of British Columbia in the School of Social Work as Practicum Field Education Coordinator for the BSW and MSW program.
Nora received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from UBC in 2005 and her Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto in 2007. Nora’s academic focuses have been in the areas of accessibility in health care, the impact of social capital and the social determinants of health.
In the beginning of her career, Nora worked at the Alzheimer Society of Toronto for 2 years as a counsellor for people with dementia and their caregivers. Nora has also had the opportunity to work in residential care.
When she is not working, Nora volunteers as a Director at the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility, as vice-president for the last 2.5 years. Nora has been elected twice to the board, 2010- 2016 and 2017- present. Nora is a past president of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, 2011-2013, and has also volunteered her time with the UBC Patient and Community Partnership for Education (PCPE) as a mentor.
In her spare time, Nora loves to go for mini hikes, traveling, cooking, hanging out with friends and her family especially 2 nieces. Nora has been a strong advocate for her patients and their families and brings that voice to the board to promote advocacy for accessibility.
Chris is the treasurer of Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility. He was appointed a board member in late 2017 and later nominated at subsequent AGMs, serving on the Finance Committee. Chris is committed to the financial health of Wavefront Centre and excited to take part in building a sound financial foundation for future growth.
He is a finance professional with eight years of experience in public accounting, financial reporting, and advisory, with a focus in the natural resources sector. He is currently the Manager of Accounting at Ero Copper Corp., a listed base metals mining company. Previous roles include financial analysis and reporting at Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. and assurance at Ernst & Young LLP. Chris holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
In his spare time, Chris enjoys making coffee, reading car reviews, and street photography.
I started my journey at Vancouver General Hospital in the same year that Wavefront Centre began theirs, with my childhood spent in Vancouver and, Parksville (Summers with my grandparents). I attended Queen Elizabeth Elementary and, Lord Byng Secondary schools in Point Grey. A post-secondary year of traveling led to UBC(1975-78) Linguistics and, Biochemistry studies before completing my M.D.(1982). at the University of Toronto. My university years were funded by working for captain Ian Bryce LLB. [I served as his salmon fish-boat crew/deckhand] A post-M.D. rotating internship (1982-83) at the Royal Colombian Hospital [President of the Interns.] Was followed by General Practice locums [I delivered 120 babies that year.] throughout B. C.[Included work on the NorthCoast [Port Simpson First Nations Reserve, Prince Rupert&, Kitimatt.] Fromthe rainforest I headed for the Northern Interior [Dawson Creek [Lived on a ranch caring for 1/2 doz. horses, Terrace, &, Prince George. Subsequently I completed an Otolaryngolgy residency at the University of Hawaii and, UBC, ENT locums throughout B.C. and, Clinical fellowship [Otology and Neurotology] years at the Universities of Toronto and Oklahoma. I began private practice [Limited to Otology/Neurotology in New Westminister in 1991, becoming Division head of Otolaryngology at St. Paul’s hospital, Vancouver in 1996. Eventually I held the UBC post of Associate Clinical Professor. I practiced at St. Paul’s and, VGH until the end of, ‘Plan-A’ subsequent to a severe R-Cerebrovascular accident [stroke] in 2000. Since then, my work has encompassed rehabilitation and, social-profit governance, advocacy and, fundraising [ resource development.] I married my highschool friend, Cicely Ford in our 4th year of medical school and, our 3 daughters study or, have completed graduate degrees.
I have worked in the capacity of a rehabilitation psychologist and medical-legal consultant evaluating residual employability of persons with debilitating orthopaedic injuries, as well as post- traumatic stress and acquired (traumatic) head injuries, since 1980. I have been accepted as an expert witness in the area of vocational rehabilitation in the Supreme Court of both British Columbia and the Yukon and Washington State (USA) and I have presented expert opinions on the employability of persons with disabling conditions. My credentials include a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) from California Southern University, Santa Ana, California, USA, a Masters degree (M.A.) from Simon Fraser University. I am currently a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Professional-Fellow (CVRP/F) with the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals. I am a Diplomate (ABVE/D) with the American Board of Vocational Experts. I am a registered member and in good standing with the Canadian Psychological Association. I am a member in good standing with the Canadian Society of Medical Evaluators. I have held the position of President for several organizations including the Deaf-Blind Rubella Associations of BC; the Canadian Association of Rehabilitation Professionals BC; and Youth Employment Canada. Currently, I am on the board of directors for the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility in British Columbia. Since 1984, I have consulted to private and institutional agencies serving the needs of persons who are mentally and physically disabled and persons with closed or traumatic head injury in both Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta as President of Vocational Litigation Solutions Inc.
I am the father of a deaf-blind child now age 43. I am the spouse of Jamie and have been in a same sex relationship for the past 45 years. My hobbies are vintage cars, golf and wilderness hiking.
After over 40 years in academic research, teaching, and administration at the University of Alberta, Dr. Lechelt retired with his wife, Sandy, to Vancouver in 2003. He studied in the Faculty of Science beginning in 1961 and concluding with a PhD in Neuropsychology in 1969. He was then awarded a Post Doctoral Fellowship at Princeton University, New Jersey, dealing with inter-sensory communication before being recruited back to the University of Alberta in 1972. He rapidly rose through the academic ranks, attaining status as a senior Full Professor in 1982, and then appointed Chairman of the Department of Psychology in 1985. His research was continuously funded by external granting agencies, and his teaching was recognized through awards at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Dr. Lechelt has held major positions of leadership at the University level and in a variety of health fields including Hospital administration, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and most recently with the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility in Vancouver. His service with the CNIB included successive terms as Chairman of the Alberta/NWT Division Board of Directors and Vice Chairman of the National Board in Toronto over the period of 1985 to the present. This service was recognized by the Certificate of Merit from the office of the Prime Minister in 1984 and the Arthur Magill Award by the CNIB in 2010. As well as continuing service with CNIB and Wavefront Centre, Dr. Lechelt presently also continues as Head Elder at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Co Chairman of the strata council where he and his wife live in downtown Vancouver.
His greatest joy is in his happy marriage to Sandy for 54 years, and the pleasure they both have in observing the wonderful family their son, David, an ER Physician, along with his wife, Sarah, a physiotherapist, have raising three exceptional sons In Edmonton. Noah, Nicholas and Nathan, like their father, are acquitting themselves with distinction in the class room as well as in elite athletic pursuits. Together in retirement, Dr. Lechelt and Sandy find their greatest satisfaction in spending time together with their family and to witness the pursuit of excellence and faithful social conscience in their grandsons.
Joy Gong was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada at the age of six. She has bilateral severe to profound hearing levels, and wears a hearing aid and cochlear implant. Growing up, her primary communication access was through listening and spoken language. In high school, she took American Sign Language classes which has became another addition to her language access. To further develop her knowledge of ASL and Deaf culture, she later took the 10-month ASL and Deaf Studies program through the Vancouver Community College.
Joy has been a board member with Wavefront Centre. She obtained her educational degrees in Master of Education and Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia, and Bachelor of Arts degree in general Psychology from the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
Being on the board has enriched Joy’s experiences in areas of governance and the importance of supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. Wavefront Centre as an organization, and its staff, are very valuable in providing services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients and has an incredible presence within the community. She is proud to be a part of this organization.
Her other volunteer passions include working in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community with the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association-BC Youth Peer Support Program as a co-founder and co-director, and with the Canadian Association of Educators for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a co-treasurer.
Muriel Kauffmann has a varied background in business, public relations and the arts. She worked in management positions, wrote for magazines and newspapers, and worked as an actor in television and films, but most of all enjoyed tutoring ESL.
Before moving to Vancouver from Los Angeles, Muriel reviewed theatre in the press and on KIEV Radio, and often addressed groups about the arts. She published her own theatre guide, was the Managing Editor of the L.A. Cultural Guide, an L.A. publication about the arts, and under contract to the L.A. Visitors and Convention Bureau, created a tourist cultural guide for the city of L.A.
Muriel is the past-president of Women Writers West, and past-recording secretary of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (in L.A.). She and Dr. Graham Bryce co-founded the B.C. Balance and Dizziness Society (BADD), and she also served on the board of the Jewish Seniors’ Alliance. (Vancouver)
At this time, Muriel is serving for the second time on the board of the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility — with pleasure.
Ellen is a lawyer and business development professional experienced in both non-profit and private sectors.
Ellen has been volunteering in her community ever since her first volunteer experience at a local library during childhood.
While completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia and law degree from the University of Toronto, Ellen was an active volunteer in student groups, local charities, and free legal clinics.
For over 10 years, Ellen has consulted for, worked in, and volunteered with non-profits across various industries including health, education, legal, arts and culture, and international development. During this time, Ellen experienced all aspects of non-profits from program delivery and fundraising to board governance.
With her well-rounded understanding of non-profits and her legal background, Ellen hopes to contribute her skills to Wavefront Centre’s vision of a society where everyone can interact freely without communication barriers.
1993 Graduation from the Alberta School for the Deaf
2016 Peer Support Worker certificate
2016 Wavefront Centre Award of Merit for work with BCVRS
2017 Recognition Award for advocating for BCVRS
2019 Recognition for advocating ASL/LSQ/ISL
2011 – Present
2015 – Present
2017 – Present
Kimberly is deaf and was born to deaf parents. Growing up she loved to read Stephen King novels in her spare time when she wasn’t playing volleyball, basketball or skiing. In between all her sports, Kim was actively involved in her high school student council, especially working for equal rights causes.
Kim and her partner have been together for almost twenty-three years. They have four children one of whom is deaf and two are hard of hearing. Kim was committed to bringing VRS to Canada, working for this for many years and was in Ottawa when VRS was signed into law.
Kim works full time, enjoys bike riding as a form of meditation, and walks with her well-behaved Pit Bull, Rocko.
Kim’s volunteer work is her way of giving back to the community. She is passionate about seeing members of the deaf community successful in life, in work and in the community. She strives for equality, believing that every individual has the right to equal opportunity and freedom from barriers to make the most of their lives and talents.
Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility is the operating name for Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a registered charitable organization.
Charitable Registration Number #108200098RR0001
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