CCHAT Spotlight: David Zeigler
CCHAT’s Board of Directors is constantly evolving to better represent the CCHAT community. That includes enlisting individuals with hearing loss, medical professionals and those connected to CCHAT from past work experience and through former students.
New board member, David Zeigler, is a perfect fit for the position. His passion for the cause was ignited when his daughter, Victoria, was diagnosed with hearing loss, and he has remained connected to the program, to which he credits for her speech and listening development.
Finding CCHAT for Victoria
David’s introduction to CCHAT was by necessity. With Victoria being the first person in the family to be diagnosed as deaf, David and his wife, Rea, immediately began researching the best service options for their daughter.
“We made a list of all of the schools in the area with a mission to visit each one,” David remembers. “Our first visit to CCHAT was in December 2003, and from the moment we stepped inside, we knew we had found the best place for Victoria and for our family.”
David vividly recalls Victoria’s face lighting up with excitement during that first visit, and she was soon enrolled following her 2nd birthday.
Worry Turns to Relief
The worry that accompanied the diagnosis soon faded away, as David watched his daughter thrive at CCHAT. Additionally, his family received support and coaching from the CCHAT staff to further help Victoria’s development.
“When we started with CCHAT, we were just learning about hearing aids, we were unfamiliar with cochlear implants and certainly did not know about IEPs,” David says. “It is not an exaggeration to say that CCHAT helped lay down the foundation for Victoria's success. We are always grateful for the support and love we received from the first day and beyond.”
Victoria mainstreamed out of CCHAT in 2010. With a foundation of listening and spoken language skills, she enjoyed success inside and outside of the classroom. After years of performing in competitive dance, gymnastics and cheer – and even a job with the Sacramento River Cats – Victoria started at Sacramento State this past year. She made the Dean’s List, joined a sorority and has a career goal of being an audiologist.
Giving Back to CCHAT
From the moment Victoria mainstreamed, David knew he wanted to stay connected to CCHAT in some capacity.
“We always wanted to support CCHAT and, more importantly, the CCHAT families,” David says. “Every child deserves the same, or better, experience (as Victoria).”
When the opportunity to join CCHAT’s Board became available, David jumped at the chance. He is committed to helping CCHAT become an option for all families of children with hearing loss.
“I want to help support the exceptional leadership, teachers and staff at CCHAT,” David says. “I am also interested in promoting CCHAT within the community. We were fortunate to have CCHAT and want to help families and others in the speech-pathology and audiology community learn about this option.”
Meshing Work Life with a Commitment to CCHAT
An avid outdoors lover, David loves running, biking and gardening. He enjoys these activities in-between a busy work schedule.
David works at Sacramento State University, serving as the Director of Undergraduate Studies and a professor in the department of mathematics and statistics. In his new role on the CCHAT Board, he hopes to facilitate a deeper relationship between CCHAT and the university.
At the root of David’s commitment to CCHAT is his desire to pass on the same support he received when Victoria started in the program more than 15 years ago.
“As a proud parent of a CCHAT alumna, I want to help support CCHAT families,” David says. “Part of CCHAT's success is that it is a place where families can gather to celebrate and enjoy their children.”
David joins a well-rounded group of board members who have pledged their commitment to our program and our children with hearing loss. Click here to learn more about our team.