The Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre, the only non-profit agency of its kind on Vancouver Island, provides leadership, innovative solutions and services through engaging and educating communities, strengthening families, and fighting isolation.
Our staff includes audiologists, interpreters, sign language experts, speech-reading professionals and more. We work together to help bridge communication gaps, improve hearing health, and connect individuals with meaningful employment opportunities.
Denise is the Executive Director at IDHHC and moved to Victoria in 1992 to carry on her career in Community Development. As well as being an event management consultant, over the years she dedicated her energies to fundraising with non-profits that include local as well as national health care, education and conservation organizations. Denise has always placed high value on being part of a community and the opportunity to give back. Her work at IDHHC drives that passion of working with the staff team, volunteers and stakeholders to make a difference. When not at the office she makes time for reading, fishing, golfing and travelling.
Brenda works in the administration department at IDHHC. She has 17 years of experience working with clients in the field of Travel, Medicine, Rheumatology, Chiropractic, and now Audiology services. Brenda loves being at IDHHC as it allows her to help people in need, which is what she loves doing the most! Her passions are music and fitness, and you can usually find Brenda getting ready to go to the gym with her headphones on!
MANAGER OF COMMUNICATION SERVICES
Kristi is IDHHC’s Communication Services Manager and Interpreting/Captioning Coordinator. For the past 25 years Kristi has worked as a Registered Sign Language Interpreter on Vancouver Island. She also coordinated Interpreting/Captioning services and worked as a Student Advisor at the University of Victoria for 12 years. Kristi enjoys connecting with the diverse range of clients that come in to the agency. She is passionate about creating barrier-free environments and empowering individuals. She is committed to social justice, equality, and has her own non-profit organization supporting children and families in Tanzania. She loves travelling, exploring and spending time outdoors.
MANAGER OF FAMILY & COMMUNITY SERVICES
Leslee is IDHHC’s Manager of Family & Community Services in the Victoria office. Throughout her career working with Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, Leslee has worked in different employment/rehabilitation & general counselling positions at the Canadian Hearing Society in Ontario and Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Vancouver and Kelowna. She was also self-employed in Kelowna as a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant with contracts throughout BC & Canada with different Ministries and with the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA). She enjoys meeting with people who come to IDHHC seeking assistance and helping to connect them with resources in their communities. She is passionate about teaching people about hearing awareness, communication, accessibility, technology and self- advocacy. Through individuals, we can impact the community-at-large. Leslee enjoys walking, pilates/yoga, reading, travel, paint-nights, cooking and live theatre.
Susanne works in the Family and Community service area as a Deaf Community Outreach Worker and ASL Instructor. With her Community Support Worker Certificate she has spent 25 years of her career working as a Support Worker in various roles. Susanne is passionate about providing ASL Instruction services to families with Deaf children and youth, and supporting Deaf adults in the community. She is dedicated to supporting and improving communication within families so that Deaf family members are included. She wants to see better access and inclusive environments in the greater community for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals going about their day-to-day lives. Susanne has been involved in SVIAD (South Vancouver Island of Association of the Deaf) for over 30 years in various roles such as President, Membership and now Secretary/Treasurer.
As the Employment Advisor in the Victoria office, Kara is dedicated to helping clients find and maintain employment. She has an educational background in Occupational Therapy and Political Science with numerous years of experience working in social services delivering case management, vocational rehabilitation, and job coaching. Kara loves being part of an organization which values diversity. She is passionate about creating a world where everyone has the same opportunities and is committed to the principles of social justice and equality. Kara is an explorer by heart and loves travelling and being in the great outdoors.
Edward is an audiologist at IDHHC. He earned his Master’s degree in Audiology at the University of British Columbia in 2002, where his published research focused on auditory processing in older adults. Before coming to IDHHC he spent 17 years in private practice with extensive experience in hearing aid technology and aural rehabilitation. He also provides hearing healthcare and in-service education at residences and care facilities for seniors. Edward is a clinical instructor for UBC Audiology students. He thrives on working with clients at IDHHC and in the community to improve lives through better hearing and communication, using the latest technologies in hearing assessment and hearing loss treatment. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking with his family, playing ball hockey and playing music with friends.
Hearing health services
Szilvia is a Communication Health Assistant and provides support to the Hearing Health Clinic team in Victoria, teaches Speech Reading Classes and assists clients with hearing health related matters including Assistive Technology inquiries and sales. Szilvia is a certified Speech Reading Instructor and has a BA with a double Major in Psychology & Speech Sciences. Szilvia has worked as an English as a Second Language instructor and as an assistant to a Speech & Language Pathologist. She finds it rewarding to know that every day we make a difference in people’s quality of life. Szilvia is passionate about empowering people to enrich their lives, to focus on their abilities and build supportive and enriching connections. She loves spending time in nature with family and friends, working on mind-body connectedness, swimming, hiking, yoga, music, reading, and is a foodie.
MANAGER OF FAMILY & COMMUNITY SERVICES
Alex is IDHHC’s longest serving employee having worked from both offices for a total of 25 years! Alex is the Manager of Family and Community Services in Nanaimo. Prior to joining IDHHC, Alex had worked at WIDHH in Employment Services, at Canadian Hearing Society in their CONNECT Counselling Services, as a Staffing Assistant/Interpreter with the Federal government, and for Carousel Theatre as an Interpreter for their mainstage productions. Alex holds a M.Ed in counselling, and is a Registered Sign Language Interpreter. Alex appreciates learning from and supporting the variety of individuals that come into IDHHC. She believes that the helping relationship is an experience of mutual learning, and that when individuals are valued and included, society as a whole benefits from their participation. Alex finds balance through the practice and discipline of yoga, through time spent in nature, and through valued relationships with friends and family.
Janet is IDHHC’s Employment Advisor in Nanaimo. She has enjoyed putting her Psychology degree, H.R. Diploma, Life Coaching and Career Development training to work in her 10+ year career in Employment Services and 12 years as a non-profit Executive Director. Janet values kindness and service to others, and therefore finds great satisfaction in helping people in her role at IDHHC. When she is not working at IDHHC as an Employment Counsellor, Janet keeps busy as a self-employed visual artist who enjoys bringing beauty into people’s lives in the form of paintings and fine art home décor.
HEARING HEALTH SERVICES & ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT
Anna Bosa provides Administration and Hearing Health Services in Nanaimo’s IDHHC office supporting the mid-island region. She has previous experience with government agencies working in an administrative capacity. Anna feels a great sense of pride in helping out our clients, and is driven by a desire to help others. Outside the office Anna is recognized for her passion in filmmaking, her great love of cooking, and spending time with her active hockey family.