Oticon, Inc. today announced the call for nominations for the 2012 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national awards program that honors hearing impaired students, adults and advocacy volunteers who have demonstrated through their accomplishments that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a difference in their families, communities and the world.
By spotlighting people with hearing loss and their contributions, Oticon aims to change outdated stereotypes that discourage people from seeking professional help for their hearing loss.
“Since 1997, the Focus on People Awards has recognized over 200 extraordinary people with hearing loss and awarded over $200,000 in prizes,” said Oticon President Peer Lauritsen. “In 2011, we significantly expanded awareness of the program and its mission by adding an online voting component to enable people across the US to add their voices to the selection of the winning finalists. In a world that is always looking for the next ‘top’ entertainer, model or chef, we believe that our online voting adds an excitement and engagement that is unprecedented in programs that honor the achievements of people with hearing loss.”
While anyone may nominate an individual for the awards program, Lauritsen notes that the vast majority of nominees are identified by hearing care professionals who are on the frontlines of patient care and interaction. Oticon Focus on People Awards are offered in four categories:
- Student, for young people with hearing loss, ages 6 – 21, who are full-time students
- Adults, for people with hearing loss, ages 21 and above
- Advocacy, for adults with hearing loss, ages 21 and above who actively volunteer their time in advocacy or support efforts for the hearing impaired and deaf community (full-time students in advocacy should apply for the Student category)
- Practitioner recognizes hearing care professionals in general practice and pediatric practitioners in school or clinical settings who go “above and beyond.”
Nominees in the professional category are not required to have a hearing loss to qualify.
Top winners in all categories will receive a $1,000 award and a $1,000 award to the non-profit group of their choice. First place winners in the Student, Adult and Advocacy categories will also receive a set of advanced technology Oticon hearing solutions. Second place winners in each category will receive a $500 award and third-place winners will receive $250. All nominees, whether or not they are selected as a top winner, will receive a Certificate of Recognition.