Conference Presentations > 2006 Biographies
Creating Roads to Independence for Persons Aging with Hearing & Vision Loss
February 8-10, 2006
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
at Mississippi State University, Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, San Diego State University
Michael Brennan (Bio)
Michael Brennanís career over the past 36 years has tapped into the fields of retail management, woodworking (both as a hands on cabinetmaker and supervisor), mental health (as a therapist and program manager) and rehabilitation. He has Usher Syndrome (Type II). He received his M.A. Mental Health Counseling from Gallaudet University in 1996. He established a Mental Health Counseling Program at Deaf Community Services of San Diego in 1997. He worked for the Helen Keller National Center as an Affiliate and Regional Representative in from 2000 to 2004. He was the Clinical Coordinator of Mental Health for Deaf and Hard of Hearing at People Incorporated in Minneapolis/St.Paul from 2004 to 2005.
Currently, he is pursuing his passion for wilderness canoeing tripping while working at Gander Mtn. and beginning in April 2006, will start his training to become an lead instructor at Voyageur Outward Bound in the Boundary Waters Canoe area of northern Minnesota.
Stacy Butler, M.S., CRC (Bio)
Ms. Butler is a Training/Research Associate at the NRTC on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). She has presented on assistive technology, education for rehabilitation counselors, and rehabilitation for children, adults, and older adults with vision loss. She is the conference coordinator for the NRTC's national conferencing activities. She is the Principal Investigator for the Missouri Older Blind program evaluation. Ms. Butler has served as Co-Principal Investigator of training and research projects in the areas of employment, aging, and independent living projects. She is also the primary coordinator of all activities and personnel relating to the Training in Blindness and Low Vision ten-week graduate program. Ms. Butler is highly knowledgeable in low vision aids, assistive technology, diabetes, and low vision management of diabetes. Throughout Ms. Butler's career, she has had the opportunity to work with children who are visually impaired, the elderly population experiencing vision loss, the rehabilitation process following vision loss.
Judith Good has been involved in the Deaf Community for over 25 years. She holds a Masterís Degree from Leslie University in Health Care Management and is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator.
Ms. Good has worked with the New England Homes for the Deaf for 19 years, 14 of them in the position of President& CEO. During that time, the "Homes" has undertaken construction projects totally $15 million, expanding services to include Independent Living, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Services, Social Day Care and a Caregiver Resource Program. On-site residential programs now serve 85 residents, 12 of whom are totally Deaf & blind and another 30 who are classified as "low vision". Satellite programs serve an average of 200 Community based Deaf seniors each week through social and educational programs.
New England Homes for the Deaf has been the recipient of the prestigious title of National Organization on Disabilities as well as several architectural awards for its unique use of technology that enables Deaf/blind residents to live independently. Ms. Good is a regular presentor at the Deaf Seniors of America.
On a personal note, Ms. Good is fluent in American Sign Language and the proud mother of a grown Deaf daughter.
Dr. Holly Kaplan (Bio)
Dr. Kaplan has worked as a clinical audiologist and Audiology instructor for over 20 years. She received her Master's degree in Audiology from Gallaudet College (now University) and her PhD from the University of Florida. She is currently an Academic and Clinical Instructor at the University of Georgia and teaches distance learning courses for the University of Florida's doctoral program in Audiology. She and her husband live in the Athens area with their two incredibly delightful children and a few too many pets. When Georgia plays Florida, the Kaplan's root for Florida....
B.J. LeJeune (Bio)
B. J. LeJeune, M.Ed., RTC, C.R.C., Principal Investigator/Research Associate III, serves as Principal Investigator for the DRRP Project at the NRTC on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University. She draws from her 34 years of rehabilitation service to provide leadership and expertise in deaf-blindness and aging necessary for the Project. As part of her regular assignments at the NRTC she provides in-service training in aging with sensory loss, blindness,/visual impairment and deaf-blindness at both state and national levels, and directs the Internet communications of the Center in the areas of Information and Referral, Distance Education and Web Design. In addition, she serves as the Helen Keller National Center Deaf-Blind Research Affiliate ensuring that appropriate research and training activities include a component related to persons with deaf-blindness. She is a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, (aka Rehabilitation Teacher), Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and worked for a number of years as a certified Interpreter of the Deaf. She has served as a rehabilitation teacher, geriatric program specialist, deaf-blind specialist, rehabilitation counselor for the blind, university advisor/interpreter for the deaf, agency director, researcher and college instructor. Since 1997 she has been providing state program evaluations at the NRTC for individual state Older Blind Independent Living Projects. Ms. LeJeune has conducted numerous research projects at the NRTC since 1985, and has published a number of project reports, journal articles and presented findings at numerous state, regional, national and international meetings. She is also the founder and Executive Director of CARE Ministries, Inc., a national Christian agency serving persons with vision- related rehabilitation needs.
Kay McGill (Bio)
Kay McGill earned her Masterís degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky. In her Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) career, she has been a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Facility Supervisor, Employment Manager, and Special Populations Coordinator for the Blind, Deaf and Deaf-Blind. She is currently the VR State Coordinator for the Blind and the Older Blind Project Director. She is a member of various National and State rehabilitation and blind organizations and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
Carren J. Stika, Ph.D. (Bio)
Carren J. Stika is a licensed clinical psychologist and Adjunct Assistant Professor/Instructor at San Diego State University in the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She is the former director of research for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Persons who are Hard of Hearing or Late Deafened (NRTC). Currently, she is principal investigator for a federally funded project to develop a quality of life measure for individuals with adult-onset hearing loss, and she also serves as co-principal investigator for the Disability Rehabilitation Research Project on Persons Aging with Hearing and Vision Loss, which is a collaborative project of Mississippi State University, San Diego State University, and the Helen Keller National Center. Prior to moving to San Diego to join the NRTC, she was an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Gallaudet University, where she taught psychological assessment and child development. Dr. Stika maintains a private practice with a primary focus on deaf and hard of hearing individuals. She is frequently asked to conduct independent evaluation for school districts throughout California, as well as forensic evaluations for Court referred cases. Dr. Stika has been hard of hearing since late adolescence/early adulthood. She earned her BGS in Psychology, Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Michigan, her MA in Deaf Education from the University of Arizona, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Syracuse University. She also completed an NIMH internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University Child Study Center.