Somerset, NJ — Oticon Inc announced the call for nominations for the company’s 2011 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national awards program that honors individuals 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.

Since 1997, the Oticon Focus on People Awards has given more than $185,000 to outstanding individuals and the not-for-profit causes of their choice. By spotlighting the contributions of students and adults with hearing loss, as well as advocacy volunteers, Oticon’s goal is to change outdated stereotypes that may discourage people from seeking professional help for their hearing loss.

Anyone may nominate an individual for awards, which are in four categories. In addition, Oticon has added a new social media component to the awards selection with online voting.

Oticon’s president, Peer Lauritsen, said in the press statement that online voting was added in order to further expand awareness of the program and to give people across the United States the opportunity to add their voices to the selection of the winning finalists.

A panel of leading hearing care professionals will select the three finalists in each of the four categories. Online voting, which will open on August 10, will determine which of the finalists receives the first, second, or third place awards in their categories. Award winners will be announced in September.

The four award categories are:

  • 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 each category will receive a $1,000 award and a $1,000 award to the nonprofit 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.

People may nominate themselves or other individuals for awards. Visit Oticon at for more information. The deadline for award nominations is July 27, 2011.

SOURCE: Oticon