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Dr. Hilary Arnaud AUD, CCC

Hilary Arnaud, Au.D. graduated James Madison University in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Hilary then continued her education at the University of Tennessee where she obtained both a Master’s (2005) and Doctoral degree (2007) in Audiology, with a concentration in Aural Habilitation. She completed her Clinical Fellowship in Abingdon, Virginia prior to accepting a position at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.  Hilary’s husband’s job took them to Vancouver, BC;  Phoenix, AZ, and finally San Antonio.  Hilary worked in ENT audiology before switching over to Educational Audiology and then beginning a journey of in-house Audiology support at Aid the Silent where she loves being able to take time with families, answering their questions and being a part of their journey.
Dr. Hilary Arnaud is licensed as an Audiologist in the state of Texas and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competency through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She specializes in diagnostic audiology and aural rehabilitation, including hearing aid evaluations and dispensing.  When she is not helping our kids she is busy homeschooling her daughter and spending time with her family.  

Heather Ward

Heather Ward is a dedicated professional with over 20 years of experience in emergency services. After leaving her career Heather followed her heart and her childhood dream of learning Sign Language and enrolled in the American Sign Language program at San Antonio College. There Heather earned her Deaf Support Specialist degree, demonstrating her commitment to supporting the Deaf, deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Currently Heather serves as the Outreach Coordinator here at Aid The Silent, where she plays a pivotal role in organizing family community nights, providing education, and advocating for the rights of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition to her professional endeavors, Heather is a devoted full-time mother, grandmother, and wife, balancing her career with her family life with grace and determination.


“Hank the Hearing Dog” has been trained as the “ears” for his human, Emma Faye, who is deaf. Hank spent the first two years of his life at NEADs World Class Service Dogs training facility in Massachusetts. With over 40 years’ experience, NEADs Service Dogs for Hearing are specially trained canine assistants who help people who are deaf by alerting their partners to sounds around the home and in public such as door knocking, alarm clocks, fire and intruder alarms, traffic approaching, horns honking, the handler’s name being called out, tea kettles and just general sound awareness.

Service Dogs for Hearing are especially sensitive to noises, and Emma Faye can learn a lot about her environment just by watching Hank’s visual cues.

Hank is an International ADI approved Service Dog – which means he can go anywhere in the world with Emma Faye. He has been specifically trained to make long international flights. Hank the Hearing Dog can be seen daily hanging out at the Aid the Silent offices and always Emma Faye’s permanent sidekick wherever she goes. Hank is the ultimate professional when he is dressed for work with his Service vest and gentle leader and when Hank is working – he has to stay focused so the “no petting” policy is in place. When Hank takes off his work clothes, he becomes a pretty cool dog and that when lots of petting and loving can commence. Hank is also a TV star on PBS and recently won an Emmy for his role in the “Hank and Emma Faye” show.

Nicole Murray

Over 20 years’ experience in the accounting field, Nicole is full charge bookkeeper, with A/R, A/R, HR and nonprofit experience. Nicole graduated with her bachelor’s in accounting from Liberty University. Nicole works hand-in-hand with Aid the Silent’s outside controller as well as CPA firm. Nicole’s vast booking experience, knowledge and expertise ensures Aid the Silent is accurate, timely, and in full compliance with state and federal accounting rules as well as restricted grant funding. Nicole works with our staff and board on budget planning and reporting.

Magdalena Puente

Magdalena comes to Aid the Silent as an accomplished manager with three years of specialized experience in leadership, effective communication, and excellent customer service in a national large chain restaurant and retail business. She led a team of 30 employees maintaining high levels of customer service while developing action plans and directly motivating and instructing the store team to implement them to meet operational and organizational objectives. Magdalena long-term goal is to become a certified sign language interpreter and she is currently working towards this goal on staff at Aid the Silent. Magdalena has a heart for the deaf and hard-of-hearing to have equal access and inclusion and has come to love advocating for this community and working side-by-side in active role. She has years of volunteer experience in other non-profit areas such as Refuge Church, Texas State Aquarium, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation and the Galveston Bay Foundation.

Magdalena serves in a caseworker position with the applicants of Aid the Silent. She and the Executive Director work together in reviewing and processing all applications, acquiring all necessary applicant paperwork, working with insurance companies, audiologists, doctors, hearing industry specialists and the Aid the Silent families and educators to ensure applicants are receiving the correct resources to help them succeed. She assists in supporting the implementation and execution of Aid the Silent’s fundraising events as well as facilitates engagement.

Emma Faye Rudkin

Emma Faye went profoundly deaf at the age of three. She has spent her life turning a disability into an ability. Emma Faye is an internationally known role model for the (D)deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH) community and founder to nonprofit organization, Aid the Silent which is a system of support for economically disadvantaged deaf/HOH children and teens to reach their full potential and live life more richly by providing funds for resources, ministry, research and education.

Emma Faye was crowned Miss San Antonio 2015 & 2017 and placed Top 4 in Miss Texas 2017. She was named 2018 San Antonio’s Woman of the Year by the San Antonio Business Journal (SABJ) and Governor Greg Abbott appointed her to serve a second term on the Texas Governor’s Committee on people with Disabilities until 2022. Morgan’s Wonderland placed her on their Wall of Fame as an individual who has gone above and beyond to do great things for people with special needs and she was chosen as Oticon People’s Choice Advocacy Winner. January 2022, Rotary Club of San Antonio announced Emma as Outstanding Young San Antonian of the year.

She and her trusty side-kicked Service Dog, Hank, are on a PBS child’s video series called “Hank & Emma Faye” to teach children sign language, kindness and inclusivity which recently won a Regional Emmy.

Emma Faye travels all around the country speaking at business conventions, school, ministries, churches and conferences sharing her story of redemption and letting others know about the programs Aid the Silent offers. She is the primary fundraiser and Executive Director of Aid the Silent as well as a mission staff member for Deaf Young Life.