Mandy Harvey: Musically Inclined

14 01 2012

Mandy Harvey, a jazz vocalist and songwriter from northern Colorado, was one of the feature articles in the January/February 2012 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, published bimonthly by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). I met and photographed Mandy at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, WI, host to HLAA’s Convention 2010. Mandy was the guest entertainer at Friday night’s Rumble event at the Museum.

Barbara Kelley, editor-in-chief of Hearing Loss Magazine and deputy executive director of HLAA, interviewed Mandy for this issue of the magazine. Learn more about Mandy’s here and listen to her music and buy CDs here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Mandy showed an early talent for singing, but also had infrequent periods of hearing loss. At age ten, her family moved to Colorado. Her vocal talent blossomed and she won numerous school awards, notably Top Female Vocalist of 2006 as a high school senior.

After high school, Mandy went to Colorado State University. During her first semester, Mandy noticed she had to move closer to hear recordings. Hearing aids helped at first. Six months later, she had no hearing left. Discouraged, Mandy returned home to take American Sign Language classes and pursue Elementary Education at a local community college.

Once she returned home Mandy decided that she would take a year off from singing, but continued to play the guitar with her father. One day, while searching the Internet, Mandy and her father discovered a song titled Come Home by One Republic. Mandy’s father suggested that she learn the lyrics. Mandy thought this would be impossible but she gave it her best effort, and to her surprise she was able to learn the lyrics. She realized then that she didn’t have to give up singing.

I met Mandy in 2010 in Milwaukee at the HLAA Convention where she sang at one of our events at the Harley-Davidson Museum. HLAA photographer Cindy Dyer photographed her at the Museum before her performance. We were pleased to catch up with her recently to ask her a few questions.

Tell me about your hearing loss.
My hearing loss is due to neurological damage and the last it was tested showed it around 110 dB in both ears.

Do you use any type of assistive technology?
I had hearing aids when I was first losing my hearing, which was around winter 2006 and the beginning of 2007. Once my hearing loss progressed to a specific stage hearing aids didn’t help much. Because of the nerve damage, a cochlear implant was not an option for me. At this point I rely mostly on lip reading and American Sign Language.

Talk about your aspirations to become a music teacher.
I went to Colorado State University in the hopes of becoming a vocal jazz teacher. In all honesty I wouldn’t feel right about giving my professional opinion to students wanting to study voice. If I cannot hear them to give advice or to teach 100 percent, I would end up just getting frustrated and feeling as if I was wasting their money. Instead, I have turned my life to performing jazz as well as working in the medical field.

What about your personal life and family?
I currently live in Denver with my hearing service dog, Annie, and my love, Travis. My family is extremely supportive and they have learned some American Sign Language. My sister, Sammi, is fluent in the language now. It helps a lot to be able to communicate with your loved ones. Travis is currently learning the language for me.

Where is your singing career right now?
My singing career is in a beautiful place right now. As things stand I work a regular 8-5, Monday through Friday, job. The weekend is mine for performing. Having the regular job mixed with weekend work relieves the pressure of having to do a bunch of gigs just to be able to pay the bills. Instead I am able to do gigs that inspire me and that bring joy.

I have two albums, Smile and After You’ve Gone, which are both full of jazz standard, though the latter contains some original work by myself and Mark Sloniker. I am currently saving up to make a Christmas album this year.

Tell me something about yourself you would like people to know; something that would surprise people.
That’s a hard question. I used to be fascinated by insects and toads and non-girly things like that. When I was a child I wanted to travel the world and discover amazing finds on archeological digs.

You have a fascination with the 40s. How has this genre influenced you and your music?
I have been fascinated with the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s my entire life. I grew up listening to The Beatles, Doobie Brothers, and classic jazz. I love everything in those eras from the clothing to the inventions. It truly was a beautiful time in history…seems to have had lots of details that were not as obvious as things are today. Back then, there could be a song about someone’s smile and how it would capture the imagination. I feel music today has lost some of that mystery and has become far too blunt.

What are your favorite songs?
My Funny Valentine, Someone to Watch Over Me, Come Fly with Me, Over the Rainbow, and of course, Smile…this list is never ending. I find passion in the music and it makes you feel something different every time you sing them.

What music don’t you care for?
I love most everything but I am not a huge fan of most Rap or R&B. I will admit I do enjoy a few songs here and there but in general they all tend to feel the same.

Who is your favorite artist and why?
Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Blossom Dearie, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Thelonius Monk, Duke…oh my goodness, my list could go on and on. They are brilliant and the work they have done inspires me every time I think of them.

What one place in the world would you like to visit?
I have always had a dream to live in Scotland. The country has always called my name. My goal is in the next 10 years to have been there for at least three months continuously. If you are there for only a week you cannot understand the culture.

To find some of her recordings, go to YouTube.com and search for Mandy Harvey. You will find several videos, including her rendition of Smile.

Barbara Kelley is deputy executive director and editor-in-chief of Hearing Loss Magazine. She can be reached at bkelley@hearingloss.org.

Join the Hearing Loss Association of America!
Do you have a hearing loss or know someone who does? Consider membership in the Hearing Loss Association of America. Student annual dues are $20, individual annual dues are $35, and family/couple annual dues are $45. Fees outside the U.S. are slightly higher. All memberships include discounts on hearing-related products, convention and special event early bird discounts, AVIS and Alamo car rental, Costco membership, and the award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine. Sign up for membership here.





Hermes Creative Awards

12 05 2011

Earlier this week I learned that one of my clients—the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)—won four awards for marketing and publication materials. Barbara Kelley, HLAA Deputy Executive Director and editor of the Hearing Loss Magazine (which I design and produce) entered a few issues of the magazine as well as marketing materials for HLAA’s Walk4Hearing fundraising program and the 2010 HLAA Convention in Milwaukee last year. I designed all of the Convention materials, all magazine-related items and a few of the Walk4Hearing pieces (ads, postcard, flyers). Congratulations to Brenda Battat, Barbara Kelley, Nancy Macklin and the rest of the HLAA staff!

Background on the Hermes Creative Awards
Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, design shops, production companies, web based innovators and freelancers.

Hermes Creative Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, media production, web and freelance professionals. The Association oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and sets standards for excellence.

Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals began in 1995 as a means to honor outstanding achievement and service to the communication profession. As part of its mission, the Association fosters and supports the efforts of marketing and communication professionals who contribute their unique talents to public service and charitable organizations. Each year, the efforts of generous marketing and communication professionals are acknowledged through grants and special recognition. Hermes entrants are not charged entry fees for their pro bono entries.

Award Levels
Entries receiving scores between 90-100 points are Platinum winners. Entries with 80-89 points are Gold winners. Entries scoring from 70-79 receive an Honorable Mention certificate.

Integrated Marketing Materials (Platinum)
2010 HLAA Annual Convention in Milwaukee
Submission included promotional Exhibit and Marketing Opportunities Prospectus, promotional postcard, Hearing Loss Magazine cover story and various promotional materials in the magazine (including full-page ad in July/Aug 2009), and the Convention & Exhibit Guide (program book)

Integrated Marketing Campaign (Gold)
HLAA’s Walk4Hearing
Submission included brochures (generic and local), posters, local walk site flyers, hat, water bottle, magnet, video, Hearing Loss Magazine articles, postcard promotion for walkers going to HLAA Convention in D.C., Kick-Off invitation, folders, local sponsorship packet, and team captain packet.

Publications/Magazine (Gold)
Hearing Loss Magazine, Sept/Oct 2010 issue
Craig Yantiss and baby Anthony cover (photo by Cindy Dyer)

Design/Overall Publication (Honorable Mention)
Hearing Loss Magazine, Jan/Feb 2011 issue
Bill Barkeley cover (photo by Cindy Dyer)





HLM Cover Feature: Lynn Rousseau

9 05 2011

The May/June 2011 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine (HLM), which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), is hot off the press! This month’s “cover girl” is my dear friend and HLAA member Lynn Rousseau. I first met Lynn in October 2008 in Denver, Colorado, when we both received a Focus on People Award from Oticon, a leading hearing aid manufacturer. Barbara Kelley, Deputy Executive Director of HLAA and editor of Hearing Loss Magazine, secretly nominated me for the award. Oticon flew all the winners (and a guest) to Denver for the ceremony, and I wrote about that amazing experience (thanks again, Barbara!) on my blog here.

Lynn and I hit it off instantly and talked for hours that weekend. She was very funny, sweet and a great listener. Last year I told her that she needed to share her life story with the hearing loss community. She has led quite a colorful and creative life, so I knew she would have great photos to illustrate the article. She didn’t fail me with the visuals—she mailed a big bag of newspaper clippings and photos collected from a lifetime of dancing, performing and modeling. It was hard to decide which ones to use first! I had the pleasure of photographing Lynn for the cover when we met up at the 2010 HLAA Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last June. Lynn confessed that while she didn’t think she was a writer, she would do her best to repeat some of the stories she shared with me when we first met. I enlisted the help of my father, Hershel M. Dyer, as editor (thanks, Dad!). He crafted a beautiful article from Lynn’s notes and stream-of-consciousness prose. You can read more of his work on his blog at www.thekingoftexas.wordpress.com.

Lynn’s love of dance and performing garnered her several “15 minutes of fame” moments—in her teens she was just one of three girls chosen to perform every Saturday on the Rick Shaw Show and the Saturday Hop Show in Miami. She performed at legendary Miami Beach hotels and her first television show was with Paul Revere & the Raiders, Simon & Garfunkel and Neil Diamond. She also had a small part on the big screen in Smokey and the Bandit, starring Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason, had the opportunity to dance with the June Taylor dancers, and was an extra on the movie, Doc Hollywood, with Michael J. Fox.

In this month’s feature article, she shares both the sad and funny moments in her life concerning hearing loss, introduces us to her incredibly supportive family (husband Joel, three children, and eight grandchildren), and reveals her diagnosis of and subsequent recovery from breast cancer in 2008. On this month’s cover I wrote Lynn Rousseau: Fearless, Persistent, Resilient. Lynn is all those things and I’m thrilled that readers will get to know a little more about her colorful life. My father has always told me that I march to the tune of a different drummer. Lynn most certainly does, too, (sometimes literally!) and I am so proud to call her my friend. To read the entire article, click to download the pdf file here: Lynn Rousseau





No Barriers: Bill Barkeley

11 01 2011

Bill Barkeley is the cover subject for the January/February 2011 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). I had the immense pleasure of photographing Bill and his wife Mary Beth this past summer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was there as the keynote speaker for HLAA’s annual convention in June 2010.

Bill is one of 15,000 people in the United States and 100,000 in the world with Usher Syndrome Type II, which is the leading cause of deaf-blindness. Bill has worn hearing aids since he was five years old, but in 1987 he discovered that he had been slowly going blind his whole life. “My hearing loss is 85 percent bilateral, progressive, severe sensorineural hearing loss. I am also legally blind,” he said. We took a taxi over to a local park for our photo session, and on the way Bill and Mary Beth told me about their journey since Bill was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome Type II. Usher Syndrome is an inherited condition. The vision loss is due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative condition of the retina, and the hearing loss is due to a genetic mutation affecting nerve cells in the cochlea. Learn more about Usher Syndrome on the Foundation Fighting Blindness website here. Despite their challenges, the Barkeleys are the most down-to-earth, upbeat and positive couple that I’ve ever met!

In his article, No Barriers, Bill writes about dealing with hearing loss since early childhood, marrying Mary Beth and raising their three sons, then being diagnosed with Usher Syndrome Type II. By 2007 he had worked his way up to being a director of sales and marketing for a Fortune 500 company. He then decided he “needed a challenge and a vision to help take me on the next phase of my life.” At age 45, he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, utilizing the latest hearing aids, FM systems and Bluetooth technology. He said it changed his life. “I retired from my 25-year career. I became a deaf-blind adventurer and storyteller, traveling the globe while sharing a message of inspiration, aspiration, hope and faith for those with hearing and vision loss.”

Walk Your Own Path, a film by Josh Levine, documented Barkeley’s climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. The climb was also covered in the July 2008 issue of Outside Magazine. In Triumph of the Human Spirit: Reaching New Heights with Hearing Technology, published on www.healthyhearing.com, in 2008, Bill wrote, “My mission is to educate people about all the available technologies and how they can transform and enhance their lives. The greatest message that came out of my climb was that I had dual disabilities and I did not ask for accommodations. The expedition team did not modify expectations, processes or goals to help me summit. I blended in with assistive technology…it was assimilation versus accommodation. That is incredibly liberating. People describe me as deaf-blind but these words do not define me.”

In 2009 he was awarded the No Barriers USA James O. Goldsmith award. The award “recognizes the individual that passionately and selflessly works to break down the barriers that limit accessibility to life. Through pioneering spirit, focused determination, innovative spirit and tireless effort, the recipient opens the door to adventures for others.”

In July 2010, Bill took a group of kids (with and without hearing loss) to the Peruvian Amazon on the first Hear the World expedition. Hear the World is a global initiative by hearing system manufacturer Phonak to raise awareness about the importance of hearing and consequences of hearing loss. The Amazon trip was covered in social and traditional media. Read a recap of his trip here. The website, www.tonic.com, also has an excellent recap of this trip. Bill will lead the second Hear the World expedition with Global Explorers to Grand Canyon National Park in July 2011. Learn more about this trip on www.globalexplorers.org. Applications start January 17, 2011.

Bill also invites adults, parents, families and kids to join him in South Africa this July for the World Deaf Congress 2011, sponsored by the United Nations. He will share a message of “Life Without Limits” using assistive technologies such as hearing aids and FM systems for hearing loss. Learn more at www.wfd2011.com. Barkeley is also on the board of directors of No Barriers USA (www.nobarriersusa.org), a community of modern day pioneers who use the experience of nature to promote innovation, education and assistive technologies that create transformative life experiences and inspire people with challenges to live full and active lives. Learn more about the No Barriers USA 2011 Festival in Winter Park, Colorado, June 28-July 2, 2011 by visiting their website here.

Mary Beth wrote a companion article for this issue of Hearing Loss Magazine. In For Better or for Worse, she explains that, “Communication is the most important element and the glue that binds the relationship and validates the other person. Being married for 24 years is a real feat no matter what the circumstances. I have to say that our circumstances, although seemingly challenging, have proved to bring us closer together in an effort to stay connected and active. We have witnessed the promises we made “for better or worse, in sickness and health, for richer and poorer.” She shares the frustrations and adjustments (revealing both the serious and humorous sides) in dealing with Bill’s hearing and vision loss.

Mary Beth works part-time as the Community Service Representative for HomeInstead, a non-medical home healthcare company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bill is now active in community service. He is past president of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI). He is on the executive committee of the Hearing Loss Association of America (Grand Rapids chapter). Visit his website, www.billbarkeley.com , to learn more about his upcoming adventures and speaking engagements. The Barkeleys have three sons, John (21), Brian (20) and Will (16). Photo of the Barkeley family © Betsy Pangle; all other photos © Cindy Dyer

Read Bill and Mary Beth’s articles in Hearing Loss Magazine by clicking on the pdf here: HLM Bill Barkeley





Lisa Fuller Seward: A Missionary’s Life

12 11 2010

Lisa Fuller Seward is our cover profile for the November/December 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). I met and photographed Lisa and her daughter Hilary for the magazine at HLAA’s convention in Milwaukee this past June.

Lisa, husband Tom, and their three children (Hilary, a college freshman studying graphic design; Benjamin, a high school freshman; and Caleb, who just started fifth grade) are missionaries in Mali, West Africa. They are currently in Chicago for the 2010-11 school year, with the intention of returning to their missions work with World-Venture in Mali next summer.

Lisa and Tom are currently helping with the youth program at their church, and Lisa is also a volunteer mentor in the “Mom to Mom” program. Their main responsibility this year on home assignment is to report to their donor base and build new support for the programs they are involved in overseas, including student sponsorships and women’s literacy. Regular updates and pictures are posted on their family blog at www.tomseward.com.

Lisa plans to concentrate on language learning upon her return to Africa, working on the trade language to better communicate with nationals, particularly the women, many of whom have received very little education. She enjoys exchanging cooking styles and learning to live a rustic life, while sharing in the joys and sorrows of weddings, funerals, business ventures, and illnesses. Since their return to Africa after Lisa’s illness and subsequent hearing loss and cochlear implantation, the Sewards have sensed an increased interest in their input by local friends who value their commitment to returning after such a difficult personal life event. The Sewards are eager to increase their impact in people’s lives as their sensitivity to people with disabilities has grown.

Download Lisa’s article are her hearing loss journey in pdf format by clicking the link here: LisaFullerSeward.

Very special thanks to:

HLAA member Dan Schwartz, who connected me to Lisa online through Facebook, suggesting that she might make a great profile subject for our magazine (he was right!);

Photographer Jim Adams for providing additional photos of Lisa and her family for the Mali collage;

and Leslie Lesner, audiologist and owner of Lesner Hearing Center, in Alexandria, Virginia, for affording me the opportunity to photograph various hearing aids at her practice to illustrate Mark Ross’ article in this issue.

Other articles in this issue of Hearing Loss Magazine include:

“We Move Forward When We’re Ready” by Richard Reed
A late-deafened musician tells how he adjusted to a cochlear implant.

The Sounds of Music—Strategies for Improving Music Appreciation with a Cochear Implant, by Donna Sorkin, vice president of consumer affairs at Cochlear Americas

Choosing and Using a Cell Phone with Your Hearing Aid or Cochlear Implant by Lise Hamlin, director of Public Policy at the Hearing Loss Association of America

Convention 2011—A Capital Experience by Nancy Macklin, director events and marketing at the Hearing Loss Association of America

The Hearing Healthcare Professional—The Key Factors in Determining Successful Use of a Hearing Aid by Mark Ross, audiologist and associate at the Rehabilitation Engineering Center (RERC) at Gallaudet University

Want to learn more about the Hearing Loss Association of America?
Check out their website at www.hearingloss.org.





When Your Child Has a Hearing Loss…

4 09 2010

Hearing loss in children is the focus of the September/October 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America. I shot this cover of Craig Yantiss and his son, Anthony, two years ago. HLM Editor Barbara Kelley interviewed Anthony’s mother, Lisa Yantiss, (in photo below, far left) for the cover feature, We Thought the Test Was Wrong! Anthony is now three years old and wears a cochlear implant and a hearing aid.

Also in this issue:
In their story, About Maya: A Daughter Born with Hearing Loss, Robyn and Mike Bittner share the story of their daughter Maya’s hearing loss and the family’s journey from denial to acceptance.

In Moving from Grief to Warrior Mode, Christina Marmor shares how she and husband Chuck dealt with their son Christian‘s hearing loss diagnosis at birth. Christian was implanted at 15 months and is now 3-1/2 years old and thriving.

All photos below © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. 1) Lisa Yantiss with son Anthony; 2) The Marmor family: Christina, Chuck, Christian and Liliana; 3) Christian

A seasoned veteran of hearing loss, Marcia Finisdore provides resources and support in her article, The Early “Big Bang”—A Guide for Parents from a Parent.

Nancy Macklin, HLAA’s Director of Events & Marketing, recaps the 2010 Convention in Milwaukee—complete with loads of photos!

Lise Hamlin, HLAA’s Director of Public Policy, discusses cell phones compatibility in her article, Cell Phones Age into Hearing Aid Capability.

Audiologist and long-time contributor, Mark Ross, shares the latest generation of hearing aids in his article, Hearing Aid Features: A Closer Look.

Author/contributors photos appearing in this issue © Cindy Dyer. From left: Brenda Battat, Executive Director of HLAA; Pete Fackler, HLAA Board President; Lise Hamlin, HLAA Director of Public Policy; Mark Ross, audiologist; and Ronnie Adler, HLAA’s National Walk4Hearing Manager.


And finally, our youngest author to date, AJ Traub (12), interviews Ronnie Adler, HLAA’s National Walk4Hearing Manager. AJ has been actively involved in the Walk4Hearing since 2007. With the help of his Walk4Hearing teams, he has raised over $5,000 for the program!

Curious about the Walk4Hearing? Want to get involved? Learn more about the program on HLAA’s website here, or watch the video below:





Bill and Mary Beth Barkeley

24 08 2010

I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Bill Barkeley and his wife Mary Beth in Milwaukee during the Hearing Loss Association of America’s annual convention in June. Bill was the keynote speaker for the event. I was photographing him for a cover feature article for a 2011 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America.

In addition to his career as a motivational speaker, Bill works for Steelcase, Inc., with leadership positions in sales and marketing in Seattle, San Francisco and Grand Rapids, MI. He is currently Director of Marketing for the Steelcase Premium Group.

Bill is one of 15,000 people in the U.S. and 100,000 in the world with Usher’s Syndrome (Type 2) the leading cause of deaf-blindness in the world. His hearing loss is 85% bilateral, progressive, severe sensorineural hearing loss. He has worn hearing aids since he was five years old and discovered he was going blind at age 28. He is now legally blind. The symptoms of Usher’s Syndrome are hearing impairment and retinitis pigmentosa, which causes vision to worsen over time. This incurable condition is genetic and inherited or passed from parents to the children.

In 2007, Bill became the first deaf blind person to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa (19,400 feet). Initially, he contacted Swiss-based Phonak, manufacturer of technologically advanced hearing systems. He was referred to Phonak’s Hear the World Foundation, which outfitted him with hearing instruments. Bill then contacted Mountain Vision Expeditions, a trekking and climbing company, to set up the Mount Kilimanjaro trip in an effort to raise funds for Hear the World. The climb was featured in the July 2008 edition of Outside Magazine, as well as Josh Levine’s film documentary, Walk Your Own Path—Bill Barkeley’s Climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. Click here to hear the 2009 interview, Life Without Limits, with Barkeley on the WGVU Morning Show. Barkeley was featured on ABC News in 2007 in an interview here.

Bill recently returned from a trip to the Peruvian Amazon for Hear the World, a global initiative by Phonak and Global Explorers, a not-for-profit educational travel organization. The expedition integrated students of mixed hearing abilities (both hearing and hard-of-hearing) to raise awareness about hearing. Click here to meet the young explorers who joined Bill on this life-changing adventure.

Check out the videos made during the expedition (from the Hear the World Facebook page):

Sounds of the Jungle
The expedition team describes the unique sounds of the jungle on their first day in the Amazon.

Hearing Technology in the Amazon
Many of our students with hearing loss have never heard underwater sounds before. By utilizing an underwater microphone linked to an MP3 recorder connected to a Phonak MyLink unit that wirelessly transmitted the sound to anyone wearing a cochlear implant or hearing aid, students like Zoe, had the chance to hear a number of new water sounds she never knew existed!

Turning the Sound Off
Students without hearing loss wore high-powered ear plugs during a hearing loss simulation exercise to give them a taste of what their friends with hearing loss experience every day. This video details the students reactions to the exercise.

Photo by Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.








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