Guest Bios

You are here

Guest Bios

Dr. Michael A. Harvey

Dr. Michael A. Harvey provides training and consultation on hearing loss, vicarious trauma and mental health issues.  In addition to a private practice in Framingham, Mass., he is an adjunct faculty at Boston University and a consultant faculty at Pennsylvania College of Optometry, School of Audiology, where he teaches on-line courses relating to the psychosocial aspects of hearing loss.  Dr. Harvey writes a regularly forHearing Loss Magazine, for Hearing Loss Association of America, in addition to over 40 articles, his publications include The Odyssey of Hearing Loss: Tales of Triumph, Psychotherapy with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons: A Systemic Model  (second addition), and a co-edited book entitled Culturally Affirmative Psychotherapy with Deaf Persons. His most recent book is Listen with the Heart: Relationships and Hearing Loss. 

Dr. Harvey is Co-Director of a private, non-profit organization, Dialogue Toward Change, dedicated to providing research, training and consultation services to alleviate the potentially negative impact of witnessing oppression.

Dr. Rob Jackler

Dr. Jackler was raised in Waterville, Maine, attended college and medical school in Boston, and moved west to the University of California, San Francisco for residency in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. After taking a Neurotology fellowship at the House Ear Clinic (1985), Dr. Jackler joined the faculty at UCSF where he remained until 2003 when he became the Sewall Professor and Chair of the Department at OHNS and professor in the departments of Neurosurgery and Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Jackler is an otologist-neurotologist who specializes in complex ear diseases. He has a special interest in tumors of the lateral and posterior cranial base and has written numerous analytical papers derived from his microsurgical series. A long standing collaboration with medical artist Chirstine Gralapp has produced over 1500 original illustrations of a wide variety of cranial base and ear microsurgical approaches ( For over 25 years Dr. Jackler has directed a fellowship program in neurotology and skull base surgery which has trained a number of academic leaders in the field.

Dr. Jackler has authored over 150 peer reviewed papers, over 35 textbook chapters, numerous editorials, published three books: Neurotology (1994, 2004), Atlas of Neurotology & Skull Base Surgery (1996, 2008), and Tumors of the Ear and Temporal Bone (2000). Dr. Jackler leads the Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss whose mission is to create biological cures for major forms of inner ear hearing loss through a research effort that is sustained, large-scale, multidisciplinary, focused, goal-oriented, and transformational (

Dusty Jessen, Au.D.

Dusty Jessen has been an audiologist in a busy ENT practice for more than 12 years. In 2013 she wrote and published a handbook (Frustrated by Hearing Loss? 5 Keys to Communication Success) to help people cope with the challenges related to hearing loss. This book is being used by hearing care professionals around the country.  Dr. Jessen is passionate about providing a fun and simple way for people to learn and practice strategies that are essential for communication success.

Ellen Beer

Ellen Beer recently joined Cochlear Americas as a Consumer Marketing Manager, where she contributes her own recipient insights and marketing experience. She is an active member of the Cochlear Community, a network of recipients who share their hearing journeys together worldwide.

Esther Kelly

Author and award winning speaker, Esther Kelly, has developed and implemented numerous programs designed to meet the unique needs of her clients, presenting her acclaimed “Hearing Loss in Action – Beyond Methodology” to countless groups, organizations and community colleges. Ms. Kelly has given many workshops at Hearing Loss Association of America National Conventions.  Among her books, videos and DVDs are, “A Sign Signals Manual”,  and her award winning video, “You Should Hear What You Are Missing”. Her most recent 6-DVD series, “Solutions for People with Hearing Loss in Career and Education Environments,” is a contemporary classic utilized by Texas Vocational Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and available at all Texas Public Libraries. 

Esther Kelly runs a Hearing Loss Program and Technology Center at Deaf Action Center in Dallas Texas and serves as a Hearing Loss Resource Specialist for the Texas Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.  Esther is a tireless advocate for the Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened.   Having lived with hearing loss from the time she was a child, and the recipient of a successful cochlear implant, Esther has life experience that has given her insight in the needs of those with hearing loss.


Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a writer, actor and public speaker who grew up with a progressive hearing loss that is now severe-to-profound. She is a director on the national board of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and runs The Hearing Foundation of Canada’s award-winning Sound Sense hearing awareness program for elementary students across Canada. As a passionate advocate for people with hearing loss, her work includes speechreading instruction, hearing awareness workshops for youth and adults, and sensitivity training for corporations and community groups. 

Gael is a sought-after speaker for her humorous and insightful performances about hearing loss, including her signature shows Unheard Voices and EarRage! She has received several awards for her work, including the Consumer Advocacy Award from the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

Jane R. Madell, Ph.D., CCC-A/SLP, Cert AVT

Jane R. Madell, Ph.D., CCC-A/SLP, Cert AVT is a renowned audiologist, educator, mentor and advocate. Her pioneering work in audiology, pediatric audiology, licensure and professional development has spanned four decades and lifted the field of audiology to the heights it is today. Her clinical practice and research include evaluation and management of hearing in infants and young children, management of hearing loss in children with severe and profound hearing loss, selection and management of amplification including hearing aids, cochlear implants and FM systems, assessment of auditory function, and evaluation and management of auditory processing disorders.

Joan Haber

Joan Haber, former HLAA Board of Trustee; secretary of HLAA Sarasota Chapter; 2010 Rocky Stone Humanitarian Award recipient; attending her 17th consecutive HLAA Convention in 2015.

John Kinstler

John Kinstler was born profoundly deaf in both ears with 80/90dB hearing loss in both of ears and he has bilateral cochlear implants. John was raised orally using hearing aids and learned American Sign Language at the age of 18. After college, John worked as a professional deaf actor/director with three different deaf theatre companies including Sunshine Too, National Theatre of the Deaf and Cleveland Signstage Theatre. He enjoys doing stand-up comedy whenever he can.

John has worked in the telecommunication industry for more than 20 years and is currently the CapTel Outreach Marketing Manager for Ultratec, Inc.

John has been a long-time advocate for people with hearing loss. He is the president of the HLAA-Madison Chapter. He is passionate in educating people with hearing loss about products and services that are available for them.

Judy Sexton

Judy Sexton is the Director of Clarke Pennsylvania Auditory Oral Center. Judy holds a Masters Degree in Education of the Hearing Impaired from Bloomsburg University. She also held a license as a hearing aid specialist in the state of Pennsylvania awarded 1987. She has spent her entire career of 31 years working in the field of auditory oral education. Her work experiences include ten years in the public school system intermediate units as an itinerant hearing therapist and resource room teacher in preschool, elementary, middle and high schools. In addition, Judy taught at Archbishop Ryan School for the Deaf from 1983 until 1997 in the capacity of classroom teacher in preschool, elementary and middle schools. Judy’s last five years at “Ryan School” were as principal.

Some of Judy’s other accomplishments include:

  • Newly appointed to the Infant Newborn Screening Committee in the state of Pennsylvania
  • Former President/Quota Club-women’s professional organization dedicated to hearing and speech needs of children and adults
  • Former President of the St. Bernadette Home and School Association
  • Presenter at a variety of conferences and conventions related to hearing loss
  • Committee chair at the A.G. Bell conference 1997
  • Officer of the PA Chapter of the A.G. Bell Association
  • Recipient of the Curriculum Quill Award for outstanding contribution to curriculum and instruction.

Judy’s interests include reading, quilting, walking, traveling with her family, gardening and refinishing furniture. She lives in Havertown with her husband, Tim, and three children Kevin, Patrick, and Julianne.