Stevenson, WA October 20 – Since its inception in 1997, the Oticon Focus on People Awards has honored outstanding people with hearing loss who prove that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to live a full, productive and even, inspiring life. In thirteen years, the Focus on People Awards has brought well deserved recognition to over 195 extraordinary people who defy the stigma of hearing loss. This year, the national awards competition, sponsored by Oticon, Inc., one of the world’s oldest and most respected hearing aid manufacturers, celebrates twelve individuals whose courage, vision and commitment are changing the perception of what it means to have a hearing loss.
“The twelve individuals who were selected by our judges as award winners are living proof that in a world where challenges exist and the potential for misfortune may be great – it is still possible to change your luck for the better with courage, determination and a good hearing care professional,” stated Oticon President Peer Lauritsen. “Our award winners have taken their unique circumstances and transformed their lives with a positive outlook that has enabled them to overcome challenges and accomplish goals well beyond what many thought possible. And they didn’t stop there, each found his or her unique way to direct that positive energy to make the world a better place for others with hearing loss. “
Among this year winners are: Jim Detterline (Adult Category), a highly accomplished mountaineer and a former park ranger who has been recognized for his service in rescue with the prestigious Medal of Valor from the Department of the Interior; Bill Rogers (Advocacy Category) who helped to found HEAR Nashville, an easily accessed resource for low-income people in middle Tennessee who need hearing help; eleven-year-old Hayleigh Scott (Student Category) who holds a provisional patent from the U.S. Patent Office for her unique hearing aid charms designed to help people let their hearing instruments shine; and Jacqueline Rogers Scholl, AuD (Practitioner Category) who helped to ensure that vital hearing services would continue to reach a rural population where the incidence of hearing loss is great.
Left to right: Bill Rogers, Peer Lauritsen, Jacqueline Rogers Scholl, Jim Detterline. Front: Hayleigh Scott
The Oticon Focus on People Awards program is designed to focus attention on common misconceptions about hearing loss, correct negative stereotypes and motivate people with hearing loss to take advantage of the help that is available to them. Each year, hundreds of nominations representing people from all walks of life are reviewed by our judging panel comprised of leading hearing care practitioners. Each nominee has a unique story and has made a unique contribution to changing negative perceptions of hearing loss. “We are both humbled by their accomplishments and inspired by their ability to make a meaningful difference for people with hearing loss,” says Lauritsen.
In addition to a $1000 prize, first place winners received a $1000 donation from Oticon, Inc. to the non-profit organization of their choice. First place winners in the Adult, Student and Advocacy categories also received a pair of advanced technology Oticon hearing instruments.
Also honored at the Awards presentation were eight second and third place winners in the program’s four categories: Student (full-time students with hearing loss, ages 6-21), Adult (people with hearing loss, ages 21 and beyond), Advocacy (individuals of all ages involved in advocacy for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community) and Practitioner (for hearing care professionals currently in practice).
Blue Ribbon Judging Panel
The winners were selected by independent judging committee composed of leading hearing care professionals. This year’s program judges included: Carol Clifford, AuD of Albuquerque Hearing Associates, Albuquerque, NM; Meg Kalady, MS, FAAA of Valley Forge ENT of Phoenixville, PA; and Kiley Stephenson, AuD of Green Clinic, Ruston, LA.
Oticon is one of the most innovative hearing aid manufacturers on the market. With more than 100 years of experience, Oticon has spearheaded a number of technological breakthroughs which have made a significant difference for people with hearing loss. Oticon is the only hearing aid manufacturer with its own psycho acoustic research center, ensuring that the needs of hearing aid users are always put first when developing new solutions. For more information about the Oticon Focus on People Awards and hearing health, visit www.Oticonusa.com