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Remembering Alberto Behar

Alberto Behar has been a long-time columnist with CanadianAudiologist, and the Canadian Hearing Report before that with Noisy Notes. Alberto has been the “go to” person when it comes to noise exposure, standards, and noise control.  Sadly, Alberto passed away on November 29, 2022.  What follows is a celebration of his life’s work.

I first met Alberto when he was with Ontario Hydro and was responsible for hearing conservation and noise control. Before that, he worked at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to design highway noise barriers. At that time, we worked together, with others, on the development of noise standards for the province of Ontario. And Alberto, Meg Cheesman, and I published Noise Control: a primer (Singular Publishing Group, now Plural Publishing Group, in 2000).

Alberto was a professional engineer and Certified Industrial Hygienist and, as an acoustical consultant, had been active for over 55 years in hearing conservation, noise and vibration measurement, assessment, and control. In 1966 he was the Director of the Department of Acoustics at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Industrial in Argentina, and in 1977, as a result of an Argentinian coup, he came to Canada.

He has contributed significantly to Canadian standards and helped develop national and provincial standards, and along with way, he has been the recipient of many awards (such as the CSA Award of Merit in 2013 and Hugh Nelson Award of OHAO in 2001, and Fulbright scholarship). And up until quite recently was a researcher at the Toronto Metropolitan University (previously Ryerson University) in Toronto, dealing mainly with hearing conservation and musicians and the prevention of hearing loss. Acoustics Today, the official journal of the Acoustical Society of America, published an interview with Alberto Behar where he talked about his life- both personal and professional.  This can be found at

When told of his passing, some of his colleagues asked to submit something about their association with Alberto and these follow below:

Marshall Chasin, AuD.,

Frank Russo

I first met Alberto as a student attending Acoustics Week in Canada (AWC). He was a regular fixture of these meetings. His questions were always animated, and he seemed to be curious about pretty much everything.  In 2007, I became reacquainted with Alberto through our work together on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Acoustical Association. In 2010, I delivered a presentation to the lab he was volunteering in at the time, at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto. For various reasons, Alberto was looking for a change of scenery and we had some discussions shortly thereafter that led to him joining my lab.

Tristan (a former Ryerson student), Dr. Frank Russo, and Alberto in Banff at Acoustics Week in Canada (AWC)

For 12 years we worked together on various projects including comfort in hearing protectors, noise-exposure in orchestra musicians, noise attenuation from earplugs, and listening effort. The work resulted in 5 peer-reviewed publications, 5 proceedings papers, and 12 conference presentations. I never paid him. His only request was that I subsidize his annual attendance at AWC. He showed up to the lab like clockwork on Tuesday and Thursday mornings every week outside of holidays. He offered an annual tutorial on acoustics, and he took great pleasure in talking up the students, learning about their projects that were often very far removed from his own interests and training.  In 2012 Alberto, Tristan (a former student), and I were all attending AWC in Banff. We took a road trip to Lake Louise. Along the way we came upon a giant Grizzly at the side of the road. We rolled down the windows and quietly started taking some photos. Before I knew it, I heard the door slam and Alberto appeared in the middle of the road, situated between the Grizzly and the safety of our rental car. He was out there, of course he was, trying to get a closer look. We whispered and motioned for him to get back inside. He waived our concerns away and proceeded to do what he was doing. Fearless, in the moment, and in the happy pursuit of curiosity.

Frank Russo, PhD., Department of Psychology, Toronto Metropolitan University

Kathy Pichora-Fuller

Alberto’s unstoppable enthusiasm and love of acoustics was highly contagious. I remember his warm welcome when I attended my first meeting of the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Acoustical Association at the Ontario Hydro building in the early 1980s. Over the next four decades, I saw him warmly welcome hundreds of new students at yearly meetings of the Canadian Acoustical Association, listening thoughtfully to their presentations, engaging them in conversation, and encouraging them in their studies and as they embarked on new careers. His passion for acoustics will continue to live on in so many of those whom he inspired.

Kathy Pichora-Fuller, PhD, FCAHS
Professor Emerita, Psychology, University of Toronto
Adjunct Professor, Gerontology, Simon Fraser University

Christian Giguere

It was my pleasure to have known Alberto since the mid-1980s. I will remember his lovely smile, great humor, and unfailing enthusiasm. He generously shared his time and expertise with students and young professionals, and contributed to the development of methods in acoustics, hearing protection and hearing loss prevention for over 40 years with the Canadian Standards Association and other organizations. His eagerness to help and get involved was remarkable. His focus on keeping things simple rather than complicated and difficult to use for little added benefit is something that he cherished and wisely reminded us of at key moments. He will be dearly missed, but many good memories will remain. 

Christian Giguere, PhD., University of Ottawa

Dr. Kate Dekok, National Director of Sales, Bernafon

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Kate Dekok has taken on leadership responsibilities for Bernafon in Canada. While she is “new” to this position, she is not new to either the Bernafon product line, nor hearing healthcare. A graduate of Western University Audiology program, Master of Clinical Science, she started her career in a hospital setting conducting audiological assessments on newborns to seniors and CAPD testing. She fit hearing aids on infants thru to adults, from a variety of manufacturers including Dahlberg, before it was named Bernafon! Kate went on to work as Clinical Supervisor at the inhouse clinic at Western University.

Kate started her family and then made the move to open up a hearing healthcare clinic in her hometown. She built that business over nearly 3 years and sold it to ListenUP!, now Hearing Life, where she began her journey into senior leadership positions. At ListenUP! she held several roles from clinician to regional manager to Chief Audiologist. During her tenure here, she returned to school and completed her Au.D. from A.T.Still University.

Next, Kate moved on to open a chain of hearing healthcare locations, with two business partners. HearMore opened 21 locations in Ontario, over 3 years where Kate led the operations and teams in the field. She was responsible to hire top talent, leading the opening of the clinics, clinic processes, regulatory compliance, clinical excellence and establishing best practices.

Hear More was sold to Amplifon and Kate stayed on to lead the transition and integration of the companies. Kate had progressive leadership responsibilities here and eventually moved into the National Sales Director position. During her time at Amplifon, she returned to school and obtained her Executive Masters of Business Administration from Ivey Business School at Western University.

Two years ago she took a position at Demant as National Sales Director and she is well equipped to take on leadership responsibility for Bernafon. She understands the daily life in clinic, running a hearing healthcare practice and is passionate about supporting her customers, so they in turn can serve and support their clients.

Dear valued partner 

I’m pleased to announce that we have named Karyne Steele as Head of ReSound Canada, effective immediately.

Karyne has been with ReSound for three years as VP Sales and is committed to bringing you the best of ReSound’s technology, practices, tools, and resources. 

As a customer-centric professional with over 30 years of experience in the hearing healthcare field, Karyne has had extensive experience within the manufacturing sector of the industry. She has been involved in all areas of our manufacturing industry, including sales, training, customer service, and operations. Aside from her manufacturer experience, she was also a successful clinician in the Toronto area. 

As you know, she is a dedicated individual who enjoys working with people to ensure that those with hearing loss have an improved quality of life. Recently, Karyne was recognized as the recipient of the 2020 CSPN’s Women in Leadership – Mentor Leader Award as a result of her dedication and leadership expertise. 

CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation Awards Four Research Grants to Institutions Leading Research to Advance the Future of Hearing Health and Deaf Studies  

Click here for ASL

January 10, 2023, Toronto – CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation, a non-profit organization and strategic global leader in the advancement of research and innovation that improves the quality of life for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, is excited to announce that it has awarded its first four research grants – totalling $400,000 - to institutions leading research that will break down barriers to participation for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their families.

We are proud to award the following principal investigators and their host institutions with CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation inaugural

Research Grants:

Chizuko Tamaki, AuD, PhD, Gallaudet University 

“ASL Adaptation of Balance and Fall Risks Self-Report Measures”, submitted by Dr. Chizuko Tamaki, Principal Investigator, will adapt and validate four self-report and self-screening tools of balance functions and risk of falling that are currently available in written English, into American Sign Language (ASL). To learn more, click here.

Marlene Bagatto, AuD, PhD, Western University

“Mapping the Social Determinants of Infant Hearing Health Care in Canada”, submitted by Dr. Marlene Bagatto, Principal Investigator, and her collaborators Dr Maxwell J Smith, Dr. Jacob Shelley and Dr, Mehmet A. Begen from Western University, will examine the healthcare injustice of Canada not having a national infant hearing health strategy and the costs to Canadians this inequity presents.  To learn more, click here.

Natalia Rohatyn-Martin, PhD, MacEwan University 

“Validation of the Fatigue in Educational Contexts (FEC) Survey for Deaf* Students”, submitted by Dr. Natalia Rohatyn-Martin, Principal Investigator (MacEwan University) and her Co-Investigators, Dr. Denyse Hayward and Dr. Lynn McQuarrie (University of Alberta) and collaborators Linda Cundy (University of Alberta) and Stephan Rohatyn (Ball State University), will validate the newly created FEC assessment tool nationally and internationally, to increase awareness of listening and viewing fatigue contributors in order to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing students. To learn more, click here.

Walter Wittich, PhD, Université de Montréal

“Development of a Core Set for Deafblindness Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health”, led by Dr. Walter Wittich, supported by the Centre de réadaptation Lethbridge-Layton-Mackay du CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille du CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, DeafBlind Ontario Services, and the Canadian Hellen Keller Center, in cooperation with global collaborators from Sweden, France, The Netherlands, and Spain, will aim to develop ICF Core Sets, currently nonexistent for deafblindness, to improve clinical practice, research and service delivery to people living with deafblindness across the globe. To learn more, click here.

“Congratulations to our inaugural research grant recipients! We are proud to offer research grants that support the brightest researchers and innovators in the world in their quest to reimagine the future of hearing health and Deaf studies,” says Julia N. Dumanian, President & Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Hearing Services. “Their critical research, along with their expertise and passion to create impactful change, will help address the multifaceted issues related to hearing loss and Deaf studies, with the ultimate goal of improving quality of life for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals around the world.”

Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar, Dean of Research at Gallaudet University, explains the impact of the research grant to Deaf adults, “Dr. Tamaki's research has strong potential to improve the quality of life for older Deaf adults experiencing balance problems and who are at risk for falls. She will work to develop linguistically and culturally appropriate tools that will more accurately assess the impact of dizziness and balance difficulties on older Deaf adults, potentially leading to a safer and better quality of life for them. I wholeheartedly congratulate Dr. Tamaki on this award that will allow this important research to reduce health inequities and have a positive impact on our communities.”


In April 2022, CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation launched its inaugural call for proposals for the two-year funding cycle beginning in fall 2022. We received an overwhelming response from the scientific community, all of which aligned and supported our inaugural Research Areas of Focus, which are as follows:  

HEARING HEALTH: Prevention, identification, assessment, treatment and (re)habilitation of auditory and balance difficulties. 

HEARING SCIENCE: Research activities in the fields of acoustics, neuroscience, and psychology concerning perception of sound.

DEAF STUDIES: Research activities in the fields of sociology, language, and inclusivity of Deaf individuals.

QUALITY OF LIFE: Research related to the impacts of being Deaf or hard of hearing as relates to an individual’s ability to participate and enjoy life activities.

For several months, our Grant Review Panel, comprised of 36 established national and global researchers from different areas of the globe including Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia, have been diligently reviewing research funding applications, ensuring that any grant awarded by CHS Global Partnerships supports research of the highest quality and improves the quality of life for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Our Advisory Council, comprised of senior researchers, acted as observers and strategic advisors to ensure a fair and transparent awards process, making recommendations to the Board of Directors on Full Applications approved for funding.

"Being a part of the advisory council for CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation was a highlight of the year. It was a pleasure to be a part of a new funding initiative in hearing health and Deaf studies. The CHS Global Partnerships team did an exemplary job of setting the program on a solid footing. It was particularly encouraging to see the positive response from the community: the strong slate of funding applications and all of the excellent Canadian and international scientists who stepped up to serve as reviewers. All of this made it a success, with new funding for four quality research programs that will move the science forward in meaningful ways. This is a good news story, and it is just getting started,” says Steve Aiken, PhD, CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation Advisory Council Member.

We are very grateful to our Research & Innovation Advisory Council and Grant Review Panel members for voluntarily contributing their time and expertise to this essential task!  \View the Research & Innovation Advisory Council here.

CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation Opens its Call for Proposals for the Two-Year Funding Cycle Starting in 2023 

January 19, 2023 

Toronto – CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation is excited to open its call for proposals for the two-year funding cycle beginning in fall 2023. Successful applications can request up to $50,000 per year for each of the two years. 

All proposals must align and support our Research Areas of Focus, which are as follows: 

HEARING HEALTH: Prevention, identification, assessment, treatment and (re)habilitation of auditory and balance difficulties. 

HEARING SCIENCE: Research activities in the fields of acoustics, neuroscience, and psychology concerning perception of sound. 

DEAF STUDIES: Research activities in the fields of sociology, language, and inclusivity of Deaf individuals. 

QUALITY OF LIFE: Research related to the impacts of being Deaf or hard of hearing as relates to an individual’s ability to participate and enjoy life activities. 

We are interested in funding research that is relevant and will have a significant impact on improving the quality of life for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their families. Whether your work is based in clinical protocols, sound perception, language acquisition, or community participation; whether your methodology is quantitative or qualitative, dissemination is clinical or based in service delivery; we are looking for projects that are across the lifespan and individuals’ journey toward full community participation. 

To learn more about the Funding Application process and timelines, please visit our website at 

All questions regarding the call for proposals and/or the application process should be directed to 

About CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation 

CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation is a non-profit organization and strategic leader in the advancement of research and innovation that improves the quality of life for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. As the research and innovation arm of Canadian Hearing Services, it supports intellectual inquiry by providing research grants that address multifaceted issues related to hearing loss and facilitates innovative solutions for the sector.

For more information about CHS Global Partnerships for Research & Innovation, please visit

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