Justin Osmond speaks at the 2018 AG Bell Convention

Justin Osmond spoke at the 2018 AG Bell Convention held in Scottsdale June 28-30. (submitted photo)

Justin Osmond spoke at the 2018 Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Convention in Scottsdale June 28-30.

The AG Bell Convention is the largest international event for audiologists, speech-language pathologists and for families, children and adults with hearing loss, according to a press release. Thought leaders and other members of the hearing loss community also shared their stories on their journeys with hearing loss.

Mr. Osmond is the youngest son of Merrill Osmond, lead singer of the world-famous Osmond family band.

He was diagnosed at the age of 2 with a 90 percent hearing loss, but after 12 years of intense speech and listening therapy, he can now speak with the assistance of amplification technology. Despite his profound hearing loss, Mr. Osmond learned to play several musical instruments (e.g., violin, viola, piano and drums); achieved several athletic titles in soccer, football, baseball and track; earned sterling scholarships in music and academics and received his master’s degree in Business Administration.

Today, Justin tours the world with his seminar, Embracing Our Limitations, a 15-minute talk illustrating his personal struggles with severe-to-profound hearing loss in a famous musical family.

“Each day, AG Bell works to educate, empower and connect individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to qualified hearing health professionals and a warm network of families, children and adults with hearing loss,” Mr. Osmond said in a prepared statement.

“Their events are excellent examples of AG Bell’s efforts in action, and I am excited to be part of the 2018 AG Bell Convention. As an adult with hearing loss, I am happy to have this opportunity to help spread awareness about the potentials of individuals with hearing loss and instill hope in children who are deaf and hard of hearing that they can achieve their dreams.”

AG Bell also hosted other guests with hearing loss who are achieving their dreams and career goals.

(submitted photo)

Elena LaQuatra, who lost her hearing after getting bacterial meningitis at age 4, now wears cochlear implants. Ms. LaQuatra spent her teenage years winning prestigious pageant titles such as Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen in 2007, Miss Pennsylvania Teen in 2010 and Miss Pennsylvania USA in 2016.

Now, she is a Digital Video Creator for Pittsburgh online lifestyle and entertainment channel “4the412” for WTAE-TV. She hopes to be the first anchor with hearing loss, the press release stated.

Megan Swanson has had profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss since birth and is an alumna of AG Bell’s 2008 Leadership Opportunities for Teens program. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Cinema Production from DePaul University and focused her efforts in the media industry, working for the Walt Disney Company in Orlando and Scorpion Internet Marketing in Los Angeles.

In the spring of 2017, she won the title California Miss Amazing Miss 2017 and then was crowned National Miss Amazing Miss 2017. Since then, she has been interviewed for numerous publications as well as appeared on the Netflix show “Nailed It” (Season One, Episode Four – Weird Science).

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.