2016 Keynote Speakers

Igniting the Flame Within: The Pursuit of Student Success

Justin Osmond, the 2nd son of Merrill & Mary Osmond was born with a severe/profound sensorial-neural hearing loss. Diagnosed at the age of 2, he finally got to hear life’s precious sounds for his very first time. Considering the fact that he was a couple years behind his peers, he has shown through a series of intense dedication and mental/physical exertion, that nothing can stop him from going after his dreams and aspirations.

After 12 years of intense speech/listening therapy, he can speak with passion and hear with conviction. There were many obstacles and challenges that represented stumbling blocks, despair and lack of hope. But his will-power, determination, desire, and hope surpassed all hurdles that stood in his way.

Despite the inevitable, and with a 90% hearing loss, Justin pressed forward with a perfect brightness of hope and a love for all humanity. He went on to play the violin, viola, piano, and drums. He has received numerous awards such as the prestigious sterling scholarship in music, academic scholarships, honorary achievements, and many athletic titles in soccer, football, basketball, and track. He is also proud to represent the Boy Scouts of America as an Eagle Scout and he currently has his (MBA) Masters in Business Administration.

Justin currently runs the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund, a charity that helps deaf & hard of hearing children around the world with the gift of hearing. He also operates a production company called O2 Events & Productions. His focus is to help motivate and be a bridge builder, which encompasses the needs for the deaf & hard-of-hearing and their families around the world.

Justin knows first-hand what it is like to live in a world without sound. In his recently published book “Hearing with my Heart” he shares his story with the world in order to help all people understand the struggles of being hearing impaired and how to overcome them. He lives every day by his personal motto: “I may have a hearing loss, but that hearing loss does not have me.”

Justin met the love of his life (Kristi Osmond) in November of 2012 and got married 11 months later on October 11, 2013 and currently have a little girl named Myla (dog). Some of their favorite things to do is ride up into the mountains and explore mother nature, go to the drive-in movie, and eat out at Chilis.

Windell Smith Jr., otherwise known as Wink, NIC Master, enjoys researching and creating various workshops that focus on skill building through deliberate practice (RID Views, Winter 2012). Presenting workshops the last seven years at national conferences (NAD, RID, Silent Weekend) regional conferences (RID I, II, III, IV), state conferences, and local workshops across the nation has given Wink experiences to enhance applications for interpreters of all levels. Wink is widely noted for the comfortable atmosphere he creates and the passion he exudes. Currently Wink travels full time performing, presenting workshops, and managing Winkshop, Inc, through which he has developed a dozen training DVDs. A fun fact: in 2015 alone, Wink traveled professionally enough miles to circle the earth over three times. For more information visit: www.WinkASL.com Wink can also be found at: www.YouTube.com/WinkASL and #WinkASL