2017 Speaker Information

Tina Childress

Educational Audiologist

Tina Childress, AuD, CCC-A is an educational audiologist in the mainstream and residential school settings, technology and social media aficionado, late-deafened adult and bilateral cochlear implant recipient. With her unique perspective and passion for sharing information through social media, she is a sought out international presenter and adjunct lecturer to families, adults and professionals on a variety of topics but especially Hearing Assistive Technology, apps, cochlear implants, advocacy and effective strategies for coping with hearing loss. Dr. Childress is active on many local and national Boards and Committees where she is a strong advocate for accessibility and disseminating resources. 

Kristen Hawkins

Parent Coordinator, Michigan Family to Family Health Information Center.

​Kristen Hawkins is a Parent Coordinator for the Michigan Family to Family Health Information Center. She is the parent of a young adult with special healthcare needs and enjoys sharing her experience to help educate other families. 

Karen Wisinski

​Parent Consultant for Michigan EHDI, Guide By Your Side Coordinator for Michigan Hands & Voices, ASTra Advocate for Michigan Hands & Voices Advocacy, Support and Training Program.

​​Karen Wisinski is the parent of a child who is hard of hearing, and the Guide By Your Side™ Coordinator for Michigan Hands & Voices™. As a Parent Guide, Karen promotes the use of self-care, especially for parents first understanding, accepting, or just managing the ups and downs of raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Janel Frost 

BA Human Services, AA Early Childhood Education.

Mom of a 15 year old boy who is Deaf-plus, Director/ASTra Coordinator, Advocate, Guide for Michigan Hands & Voices

Janel Frost is a mother to a 15 year old son who is Deaf Plus. Janel has a BA in Human Services specializing in Child Development, Counseling and Psychology and a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked in the Early Education field for the past 25 years. Janel currently works as the acting Director for Michigan Hands & Voices and is the Coordinator for Michigan Hands & Voices ASTra Program. Janel is a Parent Guide for Michigan Hands & Voices’ Guide By Your Side Program.  Janel is passionate about creating and implementing programs and services to help ALL children reach their fullest potentials.

​Carla Kelley

BA Social Relations

Mom of 10 year old boy who is Deaf, Guide for MI Guide By Your Side Program

​​Carla Kelley is mom to three great kids, two of whom were adopted internationally and have special needs.  Her 9 year old son is deaf and a bilateral cochlear implant user.  Carla is a GBYS Parent Guide and an ASTra Advocate with Michigan Hands & Voices.  She also leads a foster care & adoption support ministry in her local church.  Carla is passionate about adoption, advocacy, and offering support to equip and empower families so that they and their children can thrive.

Jennifer Bigelow-Stambaugh


Family Support Coordinator, DeafBlind Central, 

​Jennifer Bigelow-Stambaugh is currently the Family Support Coordinator for DeafBlind Central: Michigan’s Training and Resource Project.  Jennifer has been working with individuals who have special needs, and their families, for 19 years.  More specifically, as the Family Support Coordinator at DB Central, Jennifer has been supporting families that have a child with combined vision and hearing losses and additional disabilities.  She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Central Michigan University.

​Lisa Huckleberry

​Parent Consultant, Family Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

Lisa Huckleberry is a Parent Consultant for the Family Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, the parent-directed center within Children’s Special Health Care Services and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  She has worked at the Family Center for over 7 years doing presentations and trainings, outreach, advocacy, education, participating in advisory boards, connecting and supporting families, and collaborating in many projects such as the medical home initiative offering the family perspective.  She has a daughter who was born with Down syndrome and other medical diagnoses including moderate hearing loss.  She has been advocating for her daughter and others with special health care needs for the past 12 years.  She has presented at state and national conferences, university classrooms, parent education trainings, hospitals and support meetings on the Family Center, CSHCS and her family story.  Because of her daughter, she is passionate about the work she does and hopes to make a difference in the lives of others. 


Family Matters!                   MARCH 10, 2018