Oticon Inc is calling for nominations for the 2012 Oticon Focus on People Awards, its annual national awards program that honors hearing impaired students, adults, and advocacy volunteers who have demonstrated that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a difference in their families, communities, and the world.

Oticon says that its goal for the award is to change outdated stereotypes that discourage people from seeking professional help for their hearing loss.

As in the 2011 nomination process, Oticon will include an online voting component that will enable more people in the United States to select the top winners 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 this professional category are not required to have a hearing loss to qualify.

“Since 1997, the Focus on People Awards has recognized over 200 extraordinary people with hearing loss and awarded over $200,000 in prizes,” says Oticon’s 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, Lauritsen notes that the vast majority of nominees are identified by hearing care professionals who are on the frontlines of patient care and interaction.

The 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.

Nomination/Judging Process

  • People may nominate themselves or other individuals.
  • Nominators must complete a simple form that asks for a brief description of the nominee’s accomplishments and contributions.
  • Three finalists will be selected in each category, and then online voting will begin. All finalists will be prize winners.
  • Online votes will help to determine which of the three finalists receives the first, second or third place awards in their categories.

To submit a nomination, visit Oticon’s Focus on People web page, and then click on the professional portal or person portal. The deadline for all nominations is November 12, 2012.

SOURCE: Oticon