Valerie Stafford-Mallis has served as HLAA's Director of Chapter Development since January 2016. She assists with starting new chapters and growing existing chapters. She also educates and informs chapter leaders about the many tools HLAA makes available to support chapters and how to use them. She does this by telephone, email, in-person Chapter Building Workshops, and webinars. Valerie contributes to a number of HLAA communication vehicles: Hearing Loss Magazine, the Official Leaders List Yahoo Group, the Chapter State and Development Blog, Spotlight on Chapters, and e-News. She developed and managed the Chapter/State educational track at Convention. and presented a couple of workshops.
Valerie is an oral, late-deafened adult who earned her master’s degree in Business Administration from Webster University, after losing most of her hearing. In 2009 she underwent bi-lateral cochlear implantation, and utilizes many types of assistive technology in her activities of daily living. As a person who lost her hearing over thirty-five years of age, Valerie has experienced first-hand the struggles faced by all persons with disabilities to maintain employment, independence and full-participation in life. Prior to joining HLAA, Valerie was the Business Development Manager for Alternative Communication Services (ACS) LLC. Prior to that she was Training and Educational Programs Manager for 3.5 years for the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
In addition to assisting HLAA chapters, Valerie conducts educational trainings that advise and educate public and private entities on methods that improve communication access for persons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened, and deaf-blind. Valerie’s presentations have been widely accepted by healthcare, education, business and industry, social services, law enforcement, governmental and non-nongovernmental organizations, not-for-profits, foundations, and associations. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts recently paid Valerie's expenses to present at its annual Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Conference in Pittsburgh PA. While in Pittsburgh she met with Pittsburgh chapter leaders.
Valerie is active in the deaf and hard of hearing community. Prior to accepting the director of Chapter Development position she served on HLAA's Board of Trustees. She also served.on the Board of Trustees for the HLAA Sarasota-Manatee FL Chapter. She has actively participated and raised funds for Florida's Walk4Hearing since 2008.