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Remembering Mary Beth Jennings

Mary Beth Jennings passed away on May 5, 2020 from Ewing’s Sarcoma at home with her husband Craig Martin by her side. Canadian audiologists and colleagues world-wide join together to offer our most sincere, and heartfelt sympathy to Craig, to Mary Beth’s father Gordon (predeceased by her mother Barbara [Linklater]) and to her brother Grant and his family. We also extend our sympathy to other family members and those who held Beth close to their heart.

Mary Beth made significant contributions to the field of audiology through her work in adult aural rehabilitation, family-centred care and counseling, innovations in workplace accessibility, participation for persons with hearing loss, and social stigma and universal design for hearing loss. She is well-known for the training of audiology and speech-language pathology students world-wide but especially in Canada. Prior to completing her PhD at Western, Mary Beth worked at The Canadian Hearing Society for 12 years where she developed and implemented individual and group aural rehabilitation programs (the Hearing Help Class curriculum) for adults. She was the driving force in providing an Elderhostel program that ran for 10 years.

Mary Beth received a patent and accolades for her work on developing the Self-efficacy for Situational Communication for Management Questionnaire (SESMQ). She made significant and lasting contributions to community-engaged aural rehabilitation and experiential learning for students.  In addition, Mary Beth supervised many Master of Clinical Science students in Aural Rehabilitation practicums as well as several MSc and PhD students.

Mary Beth has published 10 book chapters, one just recently published, over 50 articles and shared her research and clinical knowledge through presentations world-wide, including prestigious invited lectures at the National Centre for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, the University of Pittsburgh’s conference on the Art and Science of Teaching Auditory Rehabilitation, and the IDA Institute. She contributed to our profession through participation in groups including as a committee member for the 2016 World Congress of Audiology, and as an active member of an international Expert Circle on Family-Centred Care. She collaborated and published peer-reviewed articles with many people, including J.-P. Gagné, Kenneth Southall, Lynn Shaw, Ariane Laplante-Lévesque, Laya Poost-Foroosh, Louise Hickson, Christine Meston, Chris Lind, Kathy Pichora-Fuller, and Meg Cheesman.

Her colleagues and students remember her in the following ways:

Mary Beth Jennings (Beth, to some) specialized in making people smile and laugh heartily, in encouraging us to reflect on how we are going to make the world a better place one day at a time, and in leading researchers in gerontology to include hearing and aging as a key component in their research. Mary Beth, a northern Ontarian by heritage, presented in magnanimous and humble ways but never wavered from her laser focus on the hearing, psychosocial and communication needs of older adults living with hearing problems (think stigma reduction in aging and hearing, as a prime example). A long, illustrious clinical career in aural rehabilitation and a prematurely truncated but productive and well-respected period in applied research, mark but only a part of her impacts on others. Mary Beth’s research influenced the work of hearing and aural rehabilitation colleagues across Canada and internationally yielding productive collaborations with esteemed colleagues, clinicians and graduate research students. Her recent death is a monumental loss for all who knew her, who knew of her or who were touched directly or indirectly by her gentle, focused manner or her instrumentally influential research findings.

From colleague and research collaborator JB Orange.

Dr. Mary Beth Jennings was a conscientious researcher and PhD supervisor with a deep commitment to persons with hearing loss. With that commitment, she built relationships of trust with community members which allowed her to provide myself and other students with community-based aural rehabilitation training opportunities. Even in her difficult last years, she remained a firmly committed research supervisor, editing my dissertation between surgery and rounds of chemotherapy. Her strength and commitment to her work has made a lasting impact in my life, and I am grateful to have known and worked with her.

From Raphaelle Koerber

Mary Beth shared her passion for aural rehabilitation with so many students and audiologists during her career. I will always admire the integrity with which she conducted her research, her dedication to educating future audiologists, and her commitment to supporting individuals with hearing loss. Mary Beth set an example of how to be of service to your community and I will always carry that with me. She was a kind and compassionate supervisor and I am grateful for her guidance, mentorship, and friendship. I will miss her dearly.

From Christine Meston

I will always remember Mary Beth as a humble mentor and supervisor who while being unpretentious and tranquil, had a driving passion in the field of aural rehabilitation as a researcher and educator. Mary Beth’s contributions to the field of aural rehabilitation are unquestionable and are reflected in her outstanding international reputation. But to those who worked closely with her, she was more than an outstanding researcher. She will be remembered as a warm and caring friend/mentor/colleague with gentle humor, and a love of classical music, indie movies, good food and coffee. The mark she left in her students' lives is a great one, and as such she will never really be gone.

From Laya Poost-Foroosh

Beginning in 2010, Mary Beth collaborated with us (Kenny Southall and J.-P. Gagné) on several research projects, mainly addressing the social and self-stigma associated with acquired hearing loss. A cherished colleague, Mary Beth made invaluable contributions to these projects with her skills in qualitative research, her impeccable clinical insights and her encyclopedic knowledge of audiological rehabilitation literature. Mary Beth is a dearly missed collaborator and friend.”

From research collaborators J.-P. Gagné and Kenneth Southall

And from her colleagues at The National Centre for Audiology: “As friends and colleagues, we respected Mary Beth for her incredible knowledge about aural rehabilitation and her desire to ensure that students in audiology received opportunities for experiential learning in aural rehabilitation in the clinic and in the community. Her high standards for her own work were an inspiration to us all. As friends, we knew her as a kind, gentle person, a lover of books, orchids, Coronation Street, the Stratford and Shaw Festivals; and an enjoyable lunch-date. We most recently learned that her hidden talents included: playing piano and bagpipes, figure skating, being a master chef, tap dancing, knitting, and that she was an aspiring archeologist. If something silly struck Mary Beth as being funny she’d laugh so hard that she would be wiping tears from her eyes. Her infectious laugh would have you laughing, and soon you would be laughing hard along with her…and you didn’t even know the end of the story yet, or what was so funny.

For her contributions to audiology research and practice; for her contributions to the education of students; for her contributions to making the lives of people with hearing loss better, we will remember Mary Beth. She taught us all that “People are beings for whom things matter” and for that we are forever grateful.

Photos courtesy of her husband Craig Martin.

Obituary: André Gustave Joël Lafargue

André Gustave Joël Lafargue, known to friends as Dédé, passed away on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in Fredericton at the age of 67.

André was born in Saint-Pierre on June 13, 1952, and he spent his childhood on the French islands of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. He moved to Canada in 1969 as an international student and obtained a B.Sc. (1971), B.A. (1971), and M.A. (1974) at Memorial University of Newfoundland and a M.Sc. (1976) in Audiology and Speech Sciences at the University of British Columbia. After his studies, he returned to Atlantic Canada to pioneer an audiology and speech language pathology department in central Newfoundland. André moved with his family to Fredericton in 1987 to lead the development of these services in central New Brunswick. Recognizing the importance of service to his profession, he volunteered in a variety of capacities, including terms as president of his professional associations in both NL and NB, and president of his national association. In 2014, he received a lifetime achievement award from Speech-Language & Audiology Canada for his many contributions, notably his long-time advocacy for programs such as hearing screening at birth, community and school-based speech language pathologists, and classroom audio enhancement systems. Upon his retirement from public service in 2012, he transitioned to the private sector, building Avenir Hearing’s Fredericton clinic. André drew great professional motivation from his role in facilitating human connection through enhancing communication.

In addition to his many professional accomplishments, André was passionate about photography, genealogy, and travel. He enjoyed visiting and corresponding with friends and extended family that he met online through his research. He loved to dance with his wife of over 40 years, Lynn, who followed his lead until the band stopped playing. André was the life of the party and his energy and enthusiasm earned him the endearing nickname of “la tornade” (tornado), given to him by his mother, Anita.

He is survived by his wife, Lynn; mother, Anita Sollier Lafargue; daughters, Chantal (Guillaume), Sylvie (Kris), Joëlle; and grandsons, Liam and Jakob. André is predeceased by his grandparents, Ferdinand and Anita Sollier, Gustave and Louise Lafargue; his father, Gustave Lafargue; and older brother, Roland Lafargue.

A celebration of life will occur on the island of Saint-Pierre at a later date.

Gifts can be made to the oncology or audiology and speech language pathology departments through the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital Foundation or a charity of choice.  Personal condolences may be offered through

André Gustave Joël Lafargue, connu par ses amis sous le nom de Dédé, est décédé le mercredi 6 mai 2020, à Fredericton, à l'âge de 67 ans.

Né à Saint-Pierre le 13 juin 1952, André passe son enfance sur l'archipel français de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, avant de partir au Canada, en 1969, pour étudier. Après avoir obtenu un B.Sc. (1971), un B.A. (1971) et un M.A. (1974) à l'Université Memorial de Terre-Neuve et un M.Sc. (1976) en audiologie et en sciences de la parole à l'Université de Colombie-Britannique, André revient au Canada atlantique pour mettre sur pied un service d'audiologie et d'orthophonie dans le centre de Terre-Neuve. En 1987, il arrive, avec sa famille, à Fredericton pour y diriger le développement de ces mêmes services. Reconnaissant l'importance du service à sa profession, il occupe diverses fonctions, dont celle de président de son association professionnelle tant à TNL qu’au N-B, et de président de l’association nationale. En 2014, Orthophonie et Audiologie Canada lui remet un prix pour l'ensemble de ses réalisations, notamment sa défense de programmes importants, comme le dépistage auditif à la naissance, les orthophonistes communautaires et scolaires et les systèmes d’amplification pour salle de classe. À sa retraite de la fonction publique en 2012, André passe au secteur privé, en ouvrant la clinique Avenir Hearing à Fredericton. Tout au long de sa carrière, André a tiré une grande motivation professionnelle de son rôle de facilitateur de la connexion humaine par l'amélioration de la communication.

En plus de ses nombreuses réalisations professionnelles, André était passionné par la photographie, la généalogie et les voyages. Il aimait rendre visite et correspondre avec ses amis et sa famille élargie qu'il rencontrait en ligne grâce à ses recherches. Il adorait danser avec son épouse, Lynn, qui l’a suivi pendant plus de 40 ans, jusqu’à ce que la musique s’arrête une fois pour toutes. Boute-en-train, plein d’énergie et d’enthousiasme, André s’était mérité par sa mère, Anita, le surnom attachant de « la tornade ».

Lui survivent son épouse, Lynn, sa mère, Anita Sollier Lafargue, ses filles, Chantal (Guillaume), Sylvie (Kris), Joëlle, et ses petits-fils, Liam et Jakob. André est précédé dans la tombe par ses grands-parents, Ferdinand et Anita Sollier, Gustave et Louise Lafargue, son père, Gustave Lafargue, et son frère aîné, Roland Lafargue.

Une célébration de la vie d’André aura lieu sur l'île de Saint-Pierre à une date ultérieure.

Des dons à la mémoire d’André peuvent être faits aux services d'oncologie ou d'audiologie/orthophonie de votre région ou à une organisation caritative de votre choix.  Des condoléances personnelles peuvent être présentées par le biais de

Letter to CAA from CASLPO

June 22, 2020

Jean Holden, Executive Director
Canadian Academy of Audiology
300 Coxwell Ave.
Toronto, ON, M4L 3B6

Dear Jean,

Due to ongoing challenges in achieving a consistent policy approach, including matters relating to the launch of the Canadian Entry-to-Practice Exam, CASLPO Council voted unanimously to withdraw its membership from CAASPR and participating on the CAASPR board effective June 12, 2020.

As you know, the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC (CSHBC) and Alberta College of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (ACSLPA) and l'Ordre des orthophonistes et audiologistes du Québec (OOAQ) have also recently withdrawn from the Alliance.

Going forward, CASLPO Council and its staff will continue to work cooperatively with CAASPR and individual regulatory colleges.

In addition, CASLPO will also continue to work collaboratively with the Council for Accreditation of Canadian University Programs Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CACUP-ASLP), and university programs in the two professions, through CCUP-CSD.  We will also continue to work with Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC)

CASLPO has been fortunate to be able to work very collaboratively with CAA throughout our time as a member of CAASPR. I want to assure you that we fully intend to continue engagement in a robust manner with CAA. Our relationship with your organization is something that CASLPO staff and Council very much values, particularly as we all work to assist the public and the professions through this very challenging situation relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are very thankful of the ability to work in a very collegial and professional manner with CAA. We look forward to continuing such engagement.

Brian O'Riordan
Registrar, CASLPO