Jamie McClintic finalist for national award

Courtesy Photo Jamie McClintic and her daughter Maddox, 8, are all smiles at the Changing the Face of Beauty fundraiser at Disneyland, Calif., where they helped raise money for childhood organizations and rode the Carousel of Dreams before the park opened to the public.

Listen up. This community activist needs your support.

A local hearing-impaired woman is among 12 finalists for the Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national awards program that honors individuals dedicated to improving lives and raising awareness about the hearing-impaired community.

Local Occupational Therapist Dr. Jamie McClintic is one of three finalists in the Advocacy category. Winners will be determined by popular vote on the Oticon FOP website.

McClintic was nominated by Dr. Kristen Kowalski, an audiologist at Great Lakes Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Alpena.

“It was very unexpected, going up against national competition,” said McClintic, who works with children as a school-based OT.

Diagnosed at age 3 with bilateral profound hearing loss, she got her first set of hearing aids at age 3-1/2.

“My goal was to help kids so nobody had to experience that self-doubt that I had to go through,” McClintic said. “I learned very quickly that it’s an isolating journey.”

According to the Oticon FOP website, “The Advocacy category honors hearing-impaired individuals of all ages who are actively involved in advocacy or support efforts that benefit people with hearing loss. Our Advocacy finalists share an optimism and a ‘can do’ attitude that inspires and motivates – whether they are trying to change public attitudes or just one person’s life.”

Three finalists were selected in each of four categories: Adult, Student, Advocacy and Hearing Care Practitioners.

Originally from Okemos, McClintic moved to Alpena in 2002. She is married to Scott McClintic, and has a daughter, Maddox, 8, and son, MacGregor, 6.

McClintic has risen above the challenges of her disability, earning her doctorate in occupational therapy in 2007. Then in 2010, she was blessed with a beautiful daughter, who also has a disability – Down syndrome. The pair have teamed up to defy odds and change hearts.

In 2017, McClintic traveled to Chicago to participate in “Changing the Face of Beauty,” a national campaign that promotes inclusive imagery in advertising and media to include more people with disabilities.

“This last year was such a vulnerable opportunity to share my story of what I had kept hidden for so long, and the obstacles I’ve faced,” McClintic said.

She is working to help educate the public and transform the attitudes and culture surrounding disabilities.

For the past 17 years, she has worked to help families and children cope with their disabilities and hearing loss. She is working on a book called “Grieving the Gift,” which offers support to those dealing with life-changing diagnoses. The book is slated to be released in January 2019.

Voting closes Aug. 24, and winners will be announced in October. To vote, visit www.oticon.com/FOP.

First place winners will earn a $1,000 cash prize, a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice, and a pair of Oticon hearing devices.

Second place finalists will receive a $500 cash prize, and third place finalists will get $250.

McClintic will continue to champion for the hearing-impaired and disabled communities.

“If selected, I would like to create a local hearing aid trial or loaner program,” McClintic said.

She said parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing should seek support through the statewide organization, Michigan Hands &Voices. For more information, visit www.mihandsandvoices.org.

McClintic is heading to Lansing in October to give a speech to state audiologists regarding the work she has been doing.

“I’m humbled and thankful that I’m able to help change lives,” she said.

Darby Hinkley can be reached via email at dhinkley@thealpenanews.com or 354-3111 ext. 324.


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