"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

Need to change text size? Click one of these:
Small Medium Large Larger Largest

Want to read this post later? Send it to your Kindle reader:

Send to Kindle

Thursday, April 2, 2015

"Can We Create New Sense for Humans" David Eagleman TedTalk

I love Facebook. My friends post and share some pretty amazing things from memes and stories to the latest in technology and science.

 Sherri posted this on my timeline. I admit I didn't watch the video, but I DID read the interactive transcript since I couldn't find the caption button. Will this be the way the blind will see and the deaf will hear in the future?

"Can We Create New Sense for Humans" TED2015
"David Eagleman
David Eagleman decodes the mysteries of the tangled web of neurons and electricity that make our minds tick — and also make us human."


Isn't this fascinating and fabulous?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Speech at "Focus on People Awards" and our interviews

Below are 2 videos from the Oticon "Focus on People Awards" 2014. The 1st video is my speech. I want to thank Teresa Russ for providing the captions for my video. Click the CC button for the captions. If you need captioning added to your videos, I highly recommend Teresa. The 2nd video shows the interviews of each of us discussing our thoughts regarding role models.

Teresa Russ, CSR, CRI
Certified Court Reporter
CART/Provider Captioner
(For the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Glenn's Advice Regarding Meniere's Disease and Brain Fog

If you're living with Meniere's Disease and looking for practical advice to help alleviate some of its symptoms, I highly recommend you hop over to Glenn's page and check out what helps him. A few suggestions over there may help you, too.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Captioning Campaign for New York Times A SUCCESS!!

Lauren Storck of CCAC Collaborative for Communication Access Via Captioning  spearheaded a campaign this week to encourage The New York Times to provide quality captioning for their videos. Here is her write up:

I'm pleased to share with you this follow up from Lauren celebrating SUCCESS!! We can make positive changes when we join our voices together to be seen and "heard".


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Teaching the World to Listen with Their Eyes

I was contacted by News Reporter, Amy Moss Strong recently for an interview for the Coos Bay  World and Bandon Western World newspapers in the series under "Neighbors". So often, we don't know who are neighbors are, or what their story is. Everyone has a story. I'm looking forward to the weekly series to learn about the people here in my community and getting to know them a little better.

A short version ran in the Coos Bay world on Monday, and a full story ran in our local Bandon Western World today.  The full story is linked below.

Amy came over and we spent 3 hours together. It was a lovely visit. My story ran in our local paper today on the front page. You can read about it here:

Friday, March 6, 2015

Interviews With Incredible Women ... interview with Joyce Edmiston

Ann Parmer has an amazing, uplifting project that highlights inspiring women.
Thank you, Anne Parmer for the honor of being among such Incredible Women with your project of Interviews with Incredible Women! And thank you, my Incredible friend, Denise VanBriggle for suggesting me.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

"Return to Listen and Talk" #WithCaptions

My friend, Cheri Hyatt Perazzoli (Let's Loop Seattle) posted this video along with these words:

"Sound Possibilities..at School.. on the Job..in the Community Universal; induction loop technology ( hearing loop ) levels the playing field. As the ADA turns 25 this year; isn't it time we break down barriers for people who have hearing loss by making our places of work, transportation, school, government and community accessible to people with hearing loss? Hearing loops are the wheelchair ramp for hearing aids and cochlear implants. Let's Loop Seattle. Let's Loop America! Get in the Hearing Loop!"

"Return to Listen and Talk" #WithCaptions

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Thank You" ASL Music Video #WithCaptions

Here is a nice little video with ASL interpretation by Jason Listman, Dido's "Thank You" #WithCaptions:


Monday, February 16, 2015

Far From the Tree with Hearing Loss Peeps by Nancy M. Williams

Nancy Williams breaks the stereotypical myth that people with hearing loss or deafness can't enjoy music. She shares her passion for music and encourages us to not set limits when it comes to following our passion. Thank you, Nancy, for taking time to guest post and sharing what's on your heart.

Far From the Tree with Hearing Loss Peeps 

By Nancy M. Williams 

I’m going down to Missouri this summer to be with my people. 

St. Louis, Missouri, to be exact, during the last week of June.  This summer will mark my four-year anniversary of going public with my hearing loss. One way I will celebrate my newfound openness is to attend the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) convention to be held in St. Louis 

This year I won’t be presenting.  (In 2014, I deeply enjoyed delivering my workshop on Claiming Your Passion…Despite Hearing Loss, and I look forward to presenting again in the future.) I’m attending the convention with an entirely different focus: to savor that unparalleled feeling of being in a room filled with people who also have hearing loss, who also wear hearing aids and cochlear implants, who also look down at people’s lips during conversation to speech-read, who also need the CART screen to catch all the words.  This year I’m going to the convention to hang out with my peeps. 

Social scientists have long advocated that people with a different way of experiencing the world, whether emotionally or physically, feel a sense of communion and validation when they spend time with others who have the same perspective. In his brilliant book, Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon describes a series of what he calls horizontal communities, groups with similar elemental characteristics, such as people with autism, people who are gay, and of course, people who are deaf. These horizontal groups cut across established and familiar communities of extended family, neighborhoods, or college friends. Take that apple who has fallen far from the tree of her upbringing: it is there, in the horizontal community, that she feels she has finally come home. 

Far From the Tree’s chapter on deafness—I loved the way Andrew Solomon describes people speaking in sign language, “some move their hands and faces precisely, some extravagantly, some playfully, and some with great solemnity”is worth the price of the book alone. Although I currently have a moderate to severe hearing loss, as opposed to being profoundly deaf, and although I don’t eschew the company of people with so-called normal audiograms, I found that this chapter gave shape to feelings I experienced at the 2014 HLAA convention.  I felt calmness, certainty with my purpose in life, even lightness within.  

When I spend time with the hearing loss community, I can be myself down to my core. Here at last is a group of people who understands how it feels to miss words. Here is a group of people willing to repeat the punch line and enunciate their speechHere is a group who sees me first as a pianist, writer, mother and wife, and secondarily as a person with hearing loss. 

When I’m at the 2015 HLAA convention, of course I will miss my husband and our two beloved children. Yet I can’t wait to feel the excitement of the opening night, attend the workshops to learn more about the latest hearing aid technology, and hang out with my new friends I hope to see you there. 

Nancy M. Williams is a leading hearing loss advocate who speaks throughout North America. She is the founding editor of Grand Piano Passion™, an online magazine that explores living and making music with hearing loss. She is also a Board Member of the Hearing Health Foundation, who is researching a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus. Follow her on Twitter at @nmwilliamshear or learn more about booking her as a speaker at nancymwilliams.com 


Monday, February 2, 2015

National Anthem ASL Performance by Treshelle Edmond at the Super Bowl

"Treshelle Edmond has been selected to bring the beauty of American Sign Language (ASL) to one of the most popular sports and entertainment events of the year – Super Bowl Sunday." National Association of the Deaf

Bree Loggins, a Signing Time Academy Instructor posted the link on our Instructors page to the video provided by I Deaf News. I love how this is total access on their website for Deaf and Hard of Hearing - ASL and Captions. 

Sadly, however, the major networks and film crew did not give equal access of air time to Treshelle's interpretation. Each year, we sit and watch, hoping this is the year ASL performers are included in full for the entire National Anthem along side the vocalists. Maybe next year.....

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sweetheart's Special at the Cottage

With so many of my friends experiencing harsh winters right now, might I suggest you come spend a week along the Southern Oregon Coast? I shared the post below from one of our visits here in 2012 on Facebook today. My friend Annie saw the post and wanted me to share this lovely message with you. Just tell her you're a friend of mine. You, Dear Readers, are friends. :-) Enjoy the photos and links below and contact Annie if you like what you see.

"Thank you, Joyce! February special for any of your friends who read this. $500 (instead of $800) for a WEEK in February. (sorry, Valentine weekend is taken)" Annie of Annie's Cottage.

Special note to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Travelers: Annie is fluent in ASL. You will be able to communicate beautifully with her.

This weekend, Annie's Cottage on the Southern Oregon Coast was mentioned in  business section of the local newspaper as one of the Best of the South Coast choices for vacation rentals. Enjoy the lovely video created by one of their previous guests, along with a few of our own photos we took around the cottage and along the coast.
We spent a lovely couple of weeks along the Southern Oregon Coast this summer. Our stay in the Coos Bay area could not have been more enjoyable! Annie's Cottage is the loveliest place I've ever stayed, and I've stayed in many places in my years of traveling. I do not say this lightly.

  Check out this video created by a previous guest of Annie's Cottage. There are more photos below the video.

Annie's Cottage is pet friendly AND people friendly. If you're looking for a vacation where you can visit the Redwood Forest and the Trees of Mystery, go windsurfing at Floras Lake, whale watching along the Pacific, visiting the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Sea Lion Caves and be able to have a cozy place to come "home" to at the end of the day, Annie's Cottage is the place to be. There is so much to do and see within a scenic drive from the cottage.

This was one of my favorite places to sit in the garden.

This is the loveliest view I've ever seen from a kitchen sink

The upstairs had its own huge bathroom, complete with a six foot Jacuzzi. What a wonderful way to relax after romping on the beach. There is a writing nook off to the side of the sleeping area, and across the room, a lovely nook with a view of the bay, and beyond that, the sea. It was our Bear's favorite place in the house. There was a telescope for watching the birds at play in the yard or flying over the bay, or for watching the stars in the night sky.

Downstairs, there are bunk beds off the main living area and a family table nearby for games or coloring or whatever other projects one may take up. There were games up in a closet in the kitchen, along with a soccer ball that my son and grandson took out into the big back yard and kicked around.

When you enter the cottage, the kitchen is to the left, and the dining area is to the right. The kitchen cupboards had pretty much all of the basic culinary supplies we needed.  There was tea and coffee on the counter waiting to be brewed waiting for us when we arrived early that first morning, some packets of oatmeal and even popcorn for the movies, and basic spices.

Shopping for groceries was easy with everything  within minutes. If you are there on Tuesdays, be sure to catch the Farmer's Market downtown Coos Bay for the freshest veggies at the best prices. There were organic veggies and frozen free range naturally raised poultry available. Artist peddled their wares and an added bonus were the street musicians performing. Now, I've digressed from the kitchen to the market. Let's get back to Annie's Cottage...

In the living area, there was a nice assortment of DVD movies, cable, free WIFI, local travel books and a few books of classic plays. Paul is a thespian and has been involved with the local theater group for many years. I think I read somewhere that Paul and Annie often read from the books with each other. How sweet is that? The coffee table was interesting, it can raise up to the height you prefer. We discovered this near the end of our visit. Of course, the coffee table was barely visible under our laptops, camera equipment and cell phones. It looked more like an office while we were there, but it felt like "home". We watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics while uploading our photos from our cameras and journaling/blogging about the day's festivities. It so happened that was the day we ventured to the county fair with our hosts, Annie and Paul. Here's a post about that  County Fair

Annie and Brody loved those caramel apples at the fair!

Annie's photo won an award at the fair! http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/2174100

Be sure to stop by Annie's blipfoto page: http://www.blipfoto.com/anniescottage
She has many lovely photos and thoughts to share.


What to do while staying at Annie's Cottage? Here's a few places we went and things we did:

We spent a lot of time at Beautiful Bandon By the Sea

We spent time in the Forests along the bluffs near Shore Acres and also the Redwood Forest

Sunset Bay was just a few miles up the road. Fabulous Husband wrote love notes in the sand. Bear simply wrote, "I rock". Check out his rockin' attitude.

We spent an evening in Newport, home of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, The Undersea Gardens, Ripley's Believe It Or Not and of course, world famous Mo's Seafood Restaurant where we enjoyed a lovely dinner with a view of the bay. Here is a huge sea lion that was lounging on the dock below us.

Fabulous Husband commented many times throughout our stay about how friendly everyone is along the coast. Our eight year old son did not want to leave. He enjoyed Annie's Cottage, the wonderful big back yard, the beaches and the marvelous mild weather that allows us to get out and do things without getting too hot or too cold.

But...mostly, it is the people, even the strangers are so courteous, friendly, open and warm that make us feel welcomed.

I enjoyed feeling the fog on my skin, watching the sun set into the surf, the smells of the sea and the woods. I've enjoyed all the lovely shades of greens in the leaves and the forests, as well as all the hues of the blues, greens and grays of the sea. It was so good to be back "home" for a visit in the area I grew up.

More vacation posts and photos here:









Monday, January 26, 2015

"Let it Go" ASL Music Video #WithCaptions

Here is another fabulous ASL music video directed by Jules Dameron (check out one of her other ASL music videos, "Rolling in the Deep" at http://youtu.be/QOUb6PhDBNc). This video, "Let it Go" is performed by Amber Zion and Jason Listman.


Be sure to check out D-PAN Deaf Professional Arts Network here: http://d-pan.com/videos/dpanvideos/let-it-go-frozen/ for other excellent performances available for your viewing entertainment.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Oticon Audiologist Blows the Whistle on Big Game Noise and Hearing Health

This was forwarded to me by Sara Coulter on behalf of Oticon to share with you. Be sure to click on the links below the post and check out the infographics.

Oticon Audiologist Blows the Whistle on Big Game Noise and Hearing Health

Whether you’re catching the Big Game in Phoenix or your hometown, noise levels on and away from the field can sideline your hearing health – and even lead to permanent damage.

“There’s a lot of noise around the game, the teams and the players as football fans gear up for Super Bowl Sunday,” says Dr. Mazevski. “But it’s the actual noise on the field and in the stands that can create challenges for hearing health.” 

Cheering fans can raise noise levels in NFL football stadiums to ear-damaging levels.  The average volume is estimated to be in the mid-90 decibel range – about the level of power tools.  This fall, Kansas City Chiefs fans upset the noise record for the loudest outdoor sports stadium coming in at a roaring 142.2 decibels, about the range of fireworks blast. Dr. Mazevski points out that repeated expose to sounds louder than 85-decibels can cause permanent hearing loss.  

If you didn’t score a ticket to the Big Game, you may still be exposed to unhealthy noise levels watching the game from your local sports bar. Fan excitement can drive up noise levels in off-the-field locations as well.  A group of Oticon audiologists tested noise levels during NFL playoffs at popular sports bars in several cities.  They found that on average, bar noise was in the 80 decibel range, about the noise level of an alarm clock.  During touchdowns, fan noise rose to 110 decibels and during big plays, reached 114.9 decibels - louder than a car horn.

Don’t think players on the field are spared exposure to noise in the stands.  Football helmets are designed to protect players’ heads, not their hearing. Openings on either side of the helmet allow them to hear crowd noise and calls on the field. When Oticon audiologists measured sound levels with a regulation helmet, using KEMAR, an acoustic research mannequin, sound levels were virtually the same with and without the helmet.

How to tackle the noise?  Dr. Mazevski recommends investing in inexpensive ear plugs to protect hearing from big game noise.  At just under $3.50 for a package of ten pairs, it’s about the best bargain fans are likely to see this season.  In recent years, Super Bowl ticket prices have averaged between $500 and $600.

It makes good hearing sense for fans to stay alert to noise damage post-game too. It’s not uncommon for ears to ring for a short period after being in a noisy environment.  If the ringing doesn’t go away after 3 or more days however, Dr. Mazevski recommends a checkup with a hearing care professional.

Check out Oticon’s colorful Sports & Noise Infographic for more hearing health facts and to learn how noise affects crowds, players and referees.  Visit oticonusa.com/infographic.
Learn more here:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hearing Loss, How Hearing Devices Work and Don't Work - Rush Limbaugh Questioned

Questions on the Host's Hearing March 18, 2011  

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT RUSH:  Evan in West Coxsackie, New York, welcome to the EIB Network.  Hello.

CALLER:  Hey.  I'm just wondering, when you listen to music with your hearing aid, how's it sound?

RUSH:  Music?

CALLER:  Yeah, like if you're listening to music on an iPad or something?

RUSH:  Well, not very good.  I cannot listen to music that I've never heard before and identify the melody.


RUSH:  I have a cochlear implant. It doesn't have nearly the sensitivity of the human ear, it's not even close.

CALLER:  I was just wondering.

RUSH:  Like violins or strings sound like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

CALLER:  Oh, well, I was just wondering.

RUSH:  What I have to do, I can still listen to music, but it has to be music that I knew and that I've heard before I lost my hearing.  And what happens is that my brain, fertile mind, provides the melody.  I actually am not hearing the melody, and the way I can prove this to you, sometimes it will take me, even a song that I know, it will take me 30 seconds to identify it if I don't know what it is.  Now, if I'm playing a song off iTunes and the title is there and it starts then I can spot it from the middle, but if I'm listening to a song from the beginning, and I don't know what it is, it sometimes can take me 30 seconds to recognize it, if I knew it before.  But the quality of music that I hear is less than AM radio, in terms of fidelity.  I can turn the bass up on an amplifier and I don't hear any difference at all.  I can feel the floor vibrate, but I don't hear any more bass.  I can turn highs up and I can hear the difference in the highs, but on the low end I actually cannot -- (interruption)  I'm getting a note here that says: "You're not missing anything.  There aren't any melodies in music today."  (laughing)  At any rate, you adapt to it.  I've adapted.  

The worst part of my hearing is being in a crowd.  Like right now, I hear myself as well as I heard myself when I could hear.  If I'm talking to one other person in a quiet room I can comprehend 90-95% of what they say depending on how fast they're speaking.  There are some words that sound alike.  But you add room noise, like if Kathryn and I are watching TV and she wants to talk to me about what we're watching, I have to hit pause or the mute 'cause I cannot hear what she's saying.  Even if she's sitting two feet away I will not hear as long as there are other noises there.  Any room noise when added to other room noise is gonna be louder than the one voice that I'm trying to hear.  I've got the implant on my left side so if we go out in a public place, anybody on my right side, it's hopeless.  I'll have to literally turn to them, and sometimes as I turn to them they turn with me.  They don't know what I'm doing so we'll do pirouettes 'til I finally say, "No, you stay where you are.  I'm trying to position my ear so I can hear you."

The way I look at this, though, because when I tell these stories, "Oh, that's really horrible."  No, it's not.  'Cause if you look at the timeline of humanity, however long it is, 10,000 years, a million, billion, whatever the number is, my little time on it is not much larger than a grain of sand.  And yet I happen to lose my hearing at the same time technology had evolved to the point where cochlear implants had been invented.  If I had lost my hearing 15 years ago, it would have meant the end of my career.  I would not have been able to hear.  And the doctor said you might think that you could speak normally just by virtue of memory and feel, the way voice feels when you speak, but eventually your speech would deteriorate, and it would sound to people as though you had a speech defect.  It would just be automatic no matter how good you are, no matter how professional you are at it.  So that's really fortunate.  It's almost miraculous that my being afflicted with this autoimmune disease happens to coincide with technology.  Some call it divine intervention.  Some call it the age of miracles.  We're all one way or another part of this age of miracles.  Music is the one thing that I miss, but you know what else?  This is another thing.  Compatibility with other people in normal circumstances takes a big hit.  For example, my most comfortable is sheer quiet now.  The ringing of a phone or I'll be sitting in my library and there will be a noise. I remember we had been working on the alarm system, and I hadn't been told we were working on the alarm system and every 30 seconds something in the room would beep. I said, "Oh, my gosh, it that the smoker detector, what the hell?"  I'd have to call somebody in the office and say, "Where is this coming from?" because I couldn't tell where sound was coming from and I had no idea what it was.  One time the phone was left off the hook and there was street noise, it was the phone at the gate.  And it was street noise, but it didn't sound like street noise to me.  I don't even remember what it sounded like, but I couldn't pinpoint what it was.  The phone was still on the hook but the mute button on the speakerphone was off so I had no idea where it was coming from. I had to call somebody in and say, "What is this, where's it coming from?"  'Cause you always worry about something blowing up when there's a sound that you don't know.  

But I crave silence, blessed silence because anything other than speech is just noise.  It is irritating noise.  Well, most people go crazy in quiet environments.  They don't like it.  Most people love having the TV on in the background or some sort of sound or other. It irritates me.  It irritates the heck out of me because it's just noise and I can't identify it.  I know if it's noise on TV, but I can't tell you what somebody's saying.  I have to have closed-captioning to understand everything being said in a TV program, particularly if there's a music soundtrack.  And very few people use closed-captioning.  It distracts them.  Me, I need it. (interruption) No, I'm not just getting old and cranky, Snerdley.  And going in public to a restaurant is, depending on the place, it is impossible. It literally can be impossible to have a conversation except with anybody on the left, and at some places I have to get within an inch of what they're saying to be able to comprehend.  I hear everything, but making sense of it…  

See, the human ear has 35,000 hair cells in each ear.  They're microscopic.  But they still are different sizes and widths, lengths, and they vibrate.  When they sense noise, sound, whatever, they start the whole process of energy through the audial nerve.  Well, the autoimmune system killed all 35,000 hair cells in both ears, so they're laying down.  They're still in there, but they're laying down.  Cochlear implant, I've got eight electrodes, and I'm actually now down to six because two of them were causing facial tics when the volume got too high. My eyes were closing, I looked spastic.  I had to deactivate two of those electrodes, so I'm down to six.  So I've got six manmade bionic electrodes trying to do the job of 35,000 or 70,000 hair cells in terms of frequency response and all that, and there's no way, it just can't be done.  (interruption) No, the technology has not improved.  Now what has improved is, like this Esteem thing that we talk about, if you have residual hearing, that's miraculous.  The hardware hasn't changed.  There are some software improvements.  

For example, with the implant I have there's a program called High Res, which activates 20 electrodes.  But it doesn't work for me.  Everybody is different.  They turn on those 20 electrodes -- I got 'em in there -- you turn on the 20 and everybody sounds like the chipmunks to me. It's worse.  And that's the digital.  I'm using the analog.  Everybody that has one of these things has a different experience.  Everybody says you need to get one on your right side now.  I kept the right side clear because there might have been a cure for these dead hair cells.  Now I've been told there won't be.  So if I get an implant on the right side that would solve some of the spatial stuff and it would enable me to hear people on my right side if I'm in a public place or what have you.  Music, it's amazing what the memory can do when I'm listening to music that I love, that I've known. In fact, I can create the music without evening hearing it.  Your memory, your mind can do that. 


RUSH:  Look, folks, don't get the wrong idea.  Having a cochlear implant has a lot of positives.  I was out playing golf the other day with a bunch of guys, and there was a loudmouth crow in a palm tree right on the tee box, no more than ten feet above us.  The thing was cawing like crazy.  You just wanted to grab something and throw it at the damn bird to shut up, and it was screwing everybody's tee shots off.  I mean, you can't concentrate. The guys would swing and right at the moment of impact, "CAWWW!" and you could just see the effect. 

All I did was take my implant off, gently place it on the ground, and total silence. No distractions whatsoever.  However, I do have tinnitus (some people say tinn-i-tus) in my right ear -- which, in my case, I constantly hear Gregorian chants.  That's the noise in my right ear, but I've got so used to it I don't hear it unless I stop to focus on it, but it's always there.  I always think I'm in touch with God.  Gregorian chants are constantly going off in my right ear.  END TRANSCRIPT *Note: Links to content outside RushLimbaugh.com usually become inactive over time.