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Friday, June 13, 2014

My Friend Joyce is an Oticon Focus on People Finalist!

Vote for Joyce Edmiston in the 2014 Focus on People Awards!
Vote Online at now through July 15

Oticon, Inc. has narrowed this year’s finalists down to nine outstanding people with hearing loss who are helping to change negative stereotypes of what it means to have a hearing loss. Each is unique, remarkable and inspiring.  And we are pleased to announce that Joyce Edmiston has been chosen as a finalist in the Advocacy category!

Please help us recognize Joyce as one of the top finalists by casting your vote at

This is the 16th year that the Oticon Focus on People Awards has honored hearing impaired students, adults and advocacy volunteers who have demonstrated through their accomplishments that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a positive difference in the world.

We encourage you to read all of the stories from this year’s finalists.  Our goal is to help Oticon reach as many people as possible with the inspirational stories of the Focus on People Award finalists. 
Please share this email with your family, friends and anyone you think would enjoy reading about the accomplishments of some remarkable people with hearing loss who show that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to achieve, contribute and inspire.

And please encourage them to vote for Joyce!

Voting closes on July 15. Winners will be announced in August.

Advocacy Category Finalist Joyce Edmiston

As a child with hearing loss, Joyce Edmiston lost many opportunities to interact with other children in social and school activities. As a young adult, she recognized that “I missed out on friendships, meeting fascinating new people . . . I didn’t know how to explain my hearing loss or advocate for myself.” Over time, with encouragement from her husband, bloggers and Hearing Loss Association of America, she gained the courage and wisdom to make her voice heard in a hearing world. 

Today, Joyce freely shares her hard-won knowledge as a vocal advocate for people with all degrees of hearing loss. Through her popular blog Xpressive HandZ (, Joyce provides a forum for discussion of a wide range of issues for people with hearing loss around the world.  

Her insightful, heartfelt postings aim to generate thought-provoking discussion that allows others to be “heard” as well.  All viewpoints, opinions and stories are welcome.  Joyce writes, “I love reading stories about deafened, hard of hearing, and Deaf people. . .  you’ll learn, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll understand, and you'll relate.”

A scan of her posts reveals the scope of her efforts to encourage the teaching of ASL in schools, to inform the deaf and hard-of-hearing population of valuable, useful information, and to meet the communication needs of those who do not use sign language as their primary mode of communication. 

Though passionate about the teaching of American Sign Language (ASL), Joyce formed a committee to educate local churches the need to provide captioned services for those who do not communicate by sign language.  This same committee brought live captioning to the Giant Center in Hershey, PA for the first time.

Joyce 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.


Anonymous said...

Best wishes to Joyce. :)

Xpressive Handz said...

Thank you, Sarah, for nominating me and being such a huge support to me. I sincerely appreciate you.

Xpressive Handz said...

Thank you, Liz!!! Bless you for your support and friendship!