Steven E. Boone, PhD, Project Primary Investigator

Dr. Boone joined UAMS in 2009, following a long tenure with the University of Arkansas RRTC for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing where he served as Director of Research and Program Coordinator in the RRTC’s Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. Boone’s work has consistently focused on identifying needs and developing and evaluating resources designed to assist persons with disabilities to meet these needs. His professional career has been externally funded by over thirty million in research and applied training grants from federal agencies such as the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the National Institute of Health, and the Rehabilitation Services Administration. His is currently the Principal Investigator of the NIDRR FIR grant that funding this work. This grant is developing resources for rehabilitation professionals to improve services to persons who are hard of hearing or late deafened.  He has an extensive record of presentation, training, and publications in rehabilitation.

Brenda Battat MS, MCSP

Brenda Battat is the executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Ms Battat’s vision for HLAA is to eradicate the stigma and increase the public’s awareness about hearing loss as a public health issue; continue HLAA’s work of helping people face the everyday challenges of living and working successfully with hearing loss, advocate for more hearing friendly public places and improve access to affordable hearing health care. Ms. Battat has a profound hearing loss and uses a cochlear implant and hearing aid for better hearing. She has a master’s degree in counseling from Indiana University, and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. For her work in advocacy she received the Robert H. Weitbrecht Telecommunications Access Award 2007, Oticon Focus on People Advocacy Award 2005, and the Self Help for Hard of Hearing People National Access Award 2002.

Katherine S. Berry, EdD, Project Manager

Katherine Berry, EdD, brings 20 years of higher education experience to her current role in educational research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Her background includes progressive responsibility within the areas of student affairs, institutional advancement, teaching, consulting, and research. Berry’s passion for excellence in teaching is demonstrated across the higher education continuum serving undergraduate, master’s-level, and doctoral students. Current interests in teaching and research include curriculum development, faculty development, program evaluation, and medical resident education. As an educational consultant in Graduate Medical Education with the UAMS Department of Surgery, Berry is focused on the use of appropriate educational research processes and methodologies, the importance of reflection for learners and teachers, and developing and improving evidence-based educational practices. Berry serves as project manager for the development, implementation and evaluation of .

Patty C. Conway, CRC

Patty co-authored the “How-vocational rehabilitation process”  and the “For State Coordinators” sections of this training program. Patty has an extensive background in counseling and administration of vocational rehabilitation services for persons with hearing loss in the Kentucky state VR agency, being one of the first to implement the national service model. She has participated in numerous regional and national activities including the CSAVR Committee on Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Persons who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened and the writing teams for the Model State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Persons who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened and Hard of Hearing Students in Postsecondary Settings:  A Guide for Service Providers. Patty has a hearing loss and was a consumer of VR services during college and early employment.

Laura Smith-Olinde, PhD

Laura Smith-Olinde, Ph.D., is an associate professor of audiology and helps educate future audiologists in the Univ of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/Univ of Arkansas at Little Rock consortium Doctor of Audiology program. Dr. Smith-Olinde has worked in higher education since 1995, with one 18-month  ‘detour’ to work with the Infant Hearing Program at the Arkansas Department of Health. Her role in this project has been to provide ‘technical’ information about the auditory system, audiology evaluations, and personal amplification and assistive devices. Dr. Smith-Olinde performs research that seeks to understand what effects hearing loss may have on an individual’s ability to process sound, particularly speech sounds.

Pat Tomlinson

Pat Tomlinson co-authored the “How-vocational rehabilitation process” and the “For State Coordinators” sections of this training program. She was also part of the team that developed the original training package from which this training has been adapted. Pat has a long history with vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with hearing loss in New Jersey, Regions 3 and 6 TACE programs, and the CSAVR Committee on Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Persons who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened. She was part of the writing team for the Model State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Persons who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened and several other documents of national scope.

Sam Trychin, PhD

Samuel Trychin, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, is currently in private practice specializing in treatment for people who have hearing loss and their communication partners, He also conducts national and international training programs for people who are hard of hearing, their communication partners, and professionals who provide services to them. His specialty is the application of psychological concepts, principles, and procedures to problems and issues related to hearing loss. Dr Trychin is also a faculty member for the Ida Institute, an educational foundation in Copenhagen, Denmark endowed to promote a better understanding of hearing loss around the world. Dr. Trychin is also a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Penn-State University and provides psychological consulting services to Stairways Behavioral Health in Erie, PA. Dr. Trychin has hearing loss and was issued his first hearing aid while serving in the United States Air Force. He has been a hearing aid user since that time. Further information about Dr. Trychin’s program for people who have hearing loss, their communication partners, and professionals who provide services to them can be obtained at

Lise Hamlin, MEd

Lise Hamlin joined the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) national staff as director of public policy in April 2008. Ms. Hamlin has been HLAA’s representative on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory Committee and serves as co-chair of the Disability Working Group of the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee. She has also served on the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council. She represents HLAA on the National Court Reporter Association’s Captioning Community of Interest and on the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Safety for People with Disabilities Task Force. Ms. Hamlin testified before Congress for HLAA in support of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. She served on the Access Board’s Passenger Vessel Emergency Alarms Advisory Committee, the ATIS working group on hearing aid compatible phones and on the Montgomery County Commission on People with Disabilities as Vice Chair.

Production Team:

This work may be cited as:

Boone S., Trychin S., Battat B., Conway P., Tomlinson P., Hamlin L., Berry K., Smith-Olinde L.  (2012). VR4HearingLoss: Everything you want to hear. [Website] Grant H133G090170 Funded by National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) & University of AR for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Retrieved from .