Saturday, August 16, 2014

Good News! Joyce Won

A message from Joyce to all who voted for her in the Oticon Focus on People Awards:

Thank you so very much for supporting me and helping me win this NATIONAL award!

It is a great honor to not only be nominated and selected as a candidate, but to have been voted by you and so many others, not just in the US, but around the world as Oticon's 2014 Focus on People award winner for "Advocate of the Year".

Please share this press release with as many people as you can. Oticon is truly a company that puts "People First", just as their motto claims. This non-profit based company gave the winners in each category a brand new pair of state of the art hearing aids, Bluetooth accessories to go with them, $1,000.00 donated to their charities of choice, as well as a $1,000.00 prize money. They covered all the travel expenses, meals and hotel costs of our stay for the national convention.

During our tour of the company, we learned that many of their employees stay for decades because they are extremely well cared for and they enjoy the mission behind the company and the president of the company Peer Lauritsen to put "People First".

Too many companies today put money and numbers first. It is a wonderful thing to find a company that sincerely cares about people!

 
Joyce Edmiston and Peer Lauritsen
PRESS RELEASE:
2014 OTICON FOCUS ON PEOPLE AWARDS HONOR JOYCE EDMISTON OF MOUNT JOY, PA

Growing up with hearing loss, Joyce Edmiston lost many opportunities to interact with others, make friends and advocate for herself. Over time, she gained the courage and wisdom to make her voice heard. Today, she freely shares her hard-won knowledge as a vocal advocate for people with all degrees of hearing loss through her popular blog Xpressive HandZ. Edmiston is among the outstanding individuals with hearing loss honored by the 2014 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national competition that celebrates individuals who are helping to eliminate negative stereotypes of what it means to have a hearing loss.

This is the third year that Oticon, Inc., sponsor of the national awards program, has invited the public to cast their votes to help determine who among the 12 finalists would be first, second and third place winners in the Adult, Student, Practitioner and Advocacy categories. More than 10,000 votes were cast by people from across the country and around the world.

As the first place winner in the Advocacy Category, Edmiston was recognized on August 14 at a special awards ceremony at Oticon, Inc.’s US headquarters that was attended by hearing care professionals from across the US. As part of her award, Edmiston has designated Hearing Loss of America Association, Lancaster County as her choice for a $1,000 donation from Oticon, Inc.

Edmiston is passionate about the teaching of American Sign Language (ASL) and has also formed a committee to educate local churches the need to provide captioned services for those who do not communicate by sign language. She volunteers with the Telecommunications Relay Service Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania PUC, the Collaborative for Communication via Captioning, and with HLAA at both local and state levels.

“Individuals like Joyce Edmiston are inspiring role models for people living with hearing loss,” states Oticon President Peer Lauritsen. “The remarkable people who are honored in this year’s Oticon Focus on People Awards program have taken their unique circumstances and transformed their lives with a positive outlook that has enabled them to overcome challenges and accomplish goals well beyond what many thought possible.”

The Oticon Focus on People Awards program was created in 1997 by Oticon, Inc., one of the world’s oldest and most respected hearing instrument manufacturers. By celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of individuals with hearing loss, Oticon, Inc. aims to call attention to common misconceptions about hearing loss and motivate people with hearing loss to take advantage of the help that is available to them. The company’s goal is to reach out to the 80 percent of an estimated 28 million Americans who could benefit from hearing solutions, but who fail to seek professional help.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fun ASL Singalong in the Car

This video will put you in the mood for a road trip! What a great couple! Enjoy.



Here are the lyrics to You're the One That I Want, a duet sung by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta.

I got chills, they're multiplyin'
And I'm losin' control
'Cause the power you're supplyin'
It's electrifyin'!

You better shape up, 'cause I need a man
And my heart is set on you
You better shape up, you better understand
To my heart I must be true
Nothing left, nothing left for me to do

You're the one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh, honey
The one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh, honey
The one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh
The one I need (The one I need) Oh, yes, indeed (Yes, indeed)

If you're filled with affection
You're too shy to convey
Meditate in my direction
Feel your way

I better shape up, 'cause you need a man
I need a man who can keep me satisfied
I better shape up if I'm gonna prove
You better prove that my faith is justified
Are you sure?
'Cause (yes) I'm sure down deep inside

You're the one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh, honey
The one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh, honey
The one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh
The one I need (The one I need)
Oh, yes, indeed (Yes, indeed)

You're the one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh, honey
The one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh, honey
The one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh
The one I need (The one I need)
Oh, yes, indeed (Yes, indeed)

You're the one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh, honey
The one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh, honey
The one that I want (You are the one I want)
Ooh ooh ooh
The one I need (The one I need)
Oh, yes, indeed (Yes, indeed)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Human Factor


Today I had planned to use an assistive listening device to help me hear at a special meeting for work. The meeting took place at another university and I did all the right preparation. Two weeks ahead of time, I contacted the event organizer through email and asked him about the meeting room and whether there would be a single speaker or a panel of speakers. I was relieved when he told me it would be one speaker at a time with everyone in the same room listening. (I hate those meetings when people break up into groups and they all talk at once!) I told him about the small microphone I would bring and he said he would let the speakers know ahead of time about my request for them to wear it. Last night I carefully charged my Oticon Connectline microphone and streamer (the receiver unit which is worn like a necklace).

But I forgot to count in the human factor. Yep, that's me I'm referring to here. It took me longer than I expected to drive to the meeting's location. Instead of arriving early with time to introduce myself to the organizer and demonstrate my equipment, I came in to find the other attendees were already gathered in the auditorium and the lights were turned off in anticipation of the first PowerPoint presentation. I managed to make my way in the darkened room to the front row and grab an empty seat.

Fortunately, this auditorium was designed well for acoustics. Also in my favor, the first three people who spoke were men with strong voices that projected well. I could hear them from where I was sitting, perhaps ten to twelve feet away. There was a short break before the fourth speaker. When I saw that she was a woman, I decided I needed to approach her. While she was setting up her presentation, I asked her if she would be willing to wear my microphone. She graciously said yes and put it on immediately. Then I thought, I should test it while I'm still up here with her. So I put on my streamer and turned it on. Immediately my hearing aids switched over to their Bluetooth program. The woman spoke, but I could not hear her at all. I got flustered and decided to simply move to an empty seat closer to the podium. I retrieved my microphone and beat a hasty retreat.

I claimed a seat directly in front of the podium. I figured she already knew I couldn't hear well, so it wouldn't bother her to have me there. I was now within 6 feet of her. I learned at the HLAA convention, that 6 feet is about the maximum distance where hearing aids are effective (but I don't have a source for that, so please don't quote me).

When I looked down at the microphone, still clenched in my hand, I realized what I had done wrong. I had forgotten to tell the speaker to turn the microphone on. Oops. To compensate for my error, I turned my hearing aid volume up a notch and then one more and listened closely (eyes fixed on her mouth) as the presenter talked. She was followed by another woman. This presenter spoke a little more slowly and I followed her easily enough. After that, I was finished for the day. It had been two hours of intense listening, about the same amount of time as it took me to drive there and back home. It might have been made easier with an assistive listening device, if not for the human factor. But what can I say, I'm only human.